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First Athletes Book Tickets to the 2021 CrossFit Games

Morning Chalk Up

May 31   |   POWERED BY


It’s Memorial Day in the United States, a day of remembrance for members of the Armed Forces who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

In today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up:

  • First takes on the first weekend of the inaugural Semifinals season.
  • Two down, eight to go — the MACC and Torian Pro wrapped over the weekend.
  • Dave Castro at the MACC: Three week Open is “here to stay.”
  •  Josh Pospy traded out Mountain Dew for water and started down a path to shed 130 pounds.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” - Harry S. Truman


  • The Torian Pro wrapped over the weekend, here are the final standings (note: the top three in each division earned a Games invitation, while fourth through sixth in the men’s and women’s divisions will have a chance to compete in the virtual Last-Chance Qualifier in July):
    • Final Leaderboard
      1. Royce Dunne (549) | Kara Saunders (660) | 64 Gold Army  (630)
      2. Jay Crouch (548) | Laura Clifton (564) | Urban CrossFit (630)
      3. Bayden Brown(538) | Ellie Turner (532) | Awaside  (565)
      4. James Newbury (520) | Alethea Boon (487) | —
      5. Luke Fiso (500) | Madeline Sturt (479) | —
      6. Khan Porter (446) | Justine Beath (471) | —
  • Recaps from each day of competition: Day One | Day Two | Day Three.
  • ICYMI: Torian Pro Programs Event Three, Hann, in Memory of Domestic Abuse Victim.”
  • The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge wrapped over the weekend, here are the final standings (note: the top five in each division earned a Games invitation, while sixth through eighth in the men’s division and sixth through ninth in the women’s divisions will have a chance to compete in the virtual Last-Chance Qualifier in July, the additional spot on the women’s side created due to athletes being moved into this Semifinal because of travel restrictions):
    • Final Leaderboard
      1. Jayson Hopper (560) | Tia-Clair Toomey (588) | CrossFit Mayhem Freedom (663)
      2. Scott Panchik (536) | Haley Adams (528) | Lone Star CrossFit (592)
      3. Justin Medeiros (528) | Brooke Wells (512) | CrossFit Westchase (584)
      4. Travis Mayer (516) | Amanda Barnhart (468) | Training Think Tank (554)
      5. Zach Watts (425) | Jessica Griffith (468) | On Track (554)
      6. Tyler Eggimann (397) | Christine Kolenbrander (466) | —
      7. Angelo Dicicco (391) | Feeroozah Saghafi (440) | —
      8. Hunter Holifield (373) | Nicole Gibson-Burke (395) | —
      9.  (No additional LCQ) | Danielle Dunlap (378) |  —
  • Recaps from each day of competition: Day One | Day Two | Day Three.
  • ICYMI: 
  • The Fittest in Cape Town announced that would host a live stream of the Africa Semifinal June 4-6 in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • At the Granite Games, tickets are still available. The second North American Semifinal kicks off this week in Eagan, MN at TCO Stadium.
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  Five Big Takeaways From the First 2021 CrossFit Games Semifinal Weekend 

Five Big Takeaways From the First 2021 CrossFit Games Semifinal Weekend

The first of four Semifinal weekends in the 2021 CrossFit Games season is a wrap and while there will be plenty of time to analyze all the action once the dust settles, here are five key takeaways from the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge and the Torian Pro.

1. Australia’s Two Fittest Women Dominate on Opposite Sides of the World

Certain rivalries are commonplace in this sport, and perhaps none more so than the one Tia-Clair Toomey and Kara Saunders developed through years of Regionals going head to head. That rivalry culminated in the closest race ever at the Games in 2017, where Toomey edged Saunders by two points to claim her first title as Fittest Women on Earth. Not long after Saunders started a family, having her first child, and fans weren’t sure if she would return to the sport. Now that she has, and with some of the success she’s already had since coming back, the Semifinal format primed us for that match-up yet again; that is until COVID stepped in.

Toomey, who lives in the United States, was unable to realistically get to Australia for the Torian Pro this weekend. CrossFit made an appropriate rule change to allow her (and other athletes in the same situation) to compete at a Semifinal they could actually get to. As a result, we did not get the latest iteration of the Toomey vs Saunders contest that many were excited to see. However, both women were dominant in their own regard at Semifinals this weekend. Despite a missed lift early in the weekend Toomey grabbed 588 out of 600 total points, while Kara rather casually picked up 660 out of 700 points available and won her Semifinal by 96 points. We were denied the renewal of that rivalry at this stage, but we will get to see it in Madison this July.

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Good News is our weekly round-up of positive stories around the affiliate community. Are you opening a new gym, expanding a current location, offering new classes, or is your box running a fundraiser? Send us a tip to be featured.

  • 24-Hour Assault Bike World Record: At CrossFit Argyle in Denton, TX, affiliate owner Braden Rubey unofficially broke the world record for distance covered on a fan bike at over 400 miles. Rubey took on the challenge to raise money for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Learn more and donate.
  • CrossFit Carnival for IVF: The community at CrossFit Pendleton is hosting a carnival event to help raise money for gym owner Jay Hubble and his wife Sarah who have been struggling to start a family. The admission fees and donations will help provide financial relief as they begin IVF.
  • New Gym Opens for Murph: The Box, a new CrossFit gym in Moses Lake, WA will open its doors for the first time today for Murph.
  • Pets for Vets: This past weekend, CrossFit Mercedes in Mercedes, TX hosted a community fundraiser to benefit the Palm Valley Animal Society. All funds raised will go towards building goody bags and covering fees for the Pets for Vets adoption day that will benefit Palm Valley Animal Society. The Pets for Vets adoption day will be on July 3 at 5×5 Brewing Co.
  • New Gym: CrossFit Revival opened its doors in May. The first CrossFit gym in Somerset County, PA is owned by Justin Schardt.
  Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Day Three Recap: Hopper, Toomey and Mayhem Freedom Crowned Champions at Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge 

Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Day Three Recap: Hopper, Toomey and Mayhem Freedom Crowned Champions at Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge

The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge concluded on Sunday afternoon crowning Semifinals champions and delivering invitations to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Two of the champions were expected and they dominated in their performance in Knoxville, TN. The third champion however took the sport by storm all weekend as a young upstart punched his ticket to the Games.

Jayson Hopper continued his dominance of the men’s field as his win in the opening event of the day clinched the 23-year old’s first trip to the Games. It was his third event win of the competition and he added a third place finish in the final event of the day to take home the MACC title and $5,000.

  • Hopper had five finishes in the top-three with his worst finish being eighth in “Grettel” on Saturday.
  • After a year away from individual competition, Scott Panchik was back to his old consistent form throughout the weekend, placing no worse than fifth in any event. He was the only athlete in the division to record that feat.
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  Torian Pro Day Three Recap: First Men, Women, Teams Punch Tickets to 2021 NoBull CrossFit Games 

Torian Pro Day Three Recap: First Men, Women, Teams Punch Tickets to 2021 NoBull CrossFit Games

With the conclusion of the Torian Pro at the Patrick Rafter Arena in Brisbane Australia we now have our first three men, women, and teams qualifiers for the 2021 NoBull CrossFit Games. All three divisions were tight right down until the finale, but in the end only three in each division got what they came here for this weekend.


Kara Saunders (660 points): Frankly, there is no surprise here. However, every athlete, regardless of previous performance or expectation must show up and get the work done. Kara did exactly that. With nothing worse than a 6th place finish, and three event wins, Saunders was the class of the field and also is sending a message across the way to her long time rival, Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr, at the MACC this weekend. With both perennial contenders getting an invitation to the Games in week one they will have maximum time to prepare for each other in a couple months

Laura Clifton (564 points): Now qualifying to the Games for a second straight season, Clifton validates her podium finish last year at the Australian CrossFit Championships. She amassed four top three finishes including an event win on Event 6 to start the final day of competition. More so than any other athlete, Clifton challenged Saunders on certain events throughout the weekend. These battles provided some excellent drama, but also demonstrated world class prowess by Clifton on specific styles of workouts which makes her a fun, and potentially influential, factor on certain tests at the Games this summer.

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  Dave Castro Talks 2021 Season, Collaboration with Semifinals, Confirms Three-Week CrossFit Open is “Here to Stay” 

Dave Castro Talks 2021 Season, Collaboration with Semifinals, Confirms Three-Week CrossFit Open is “Here to Stay”

Dave Castro, CrossFit LLC’s General Manager of Sport, was on hand at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in Knoxville, TN on the weekend and admitted that being there and “not running the show…keeping my mouth shut” was a “unique experience,” he said in an interview with commentators Sean Woodland and Tommy Marquez. “But I’m enjoying it,” he added.

  • In the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Castro didn’t attend any Sanctionals events, but he said he felt it was important for him to be present at various Semifinals this year, because they’re “really part of the season (now),” he said. Unlike Sanctionals the last two seasons, where only the winner of the event qualified to the Games, the Semifinals are responsible for fielding the entire CrossFit Games roster in Madison, WI this summer.
  • Due to the pandemic unknowns, Castro said this season has been another “wild ride,” but that he’s thrilled that five Semifinals are in-person events. “I’m ecstatic that we have 50 percent of the event going (live)…That’s a great outcome,” he said.

On collaboration with Semifinals: Castro called CrossFit LLC’s partnership with the 10 Semifinals organizers “more collaborative than ever before.”

  • Other than providing some “general guidelines,” CrossFit LLC gave each Semifinals host full control over their own programming.
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  How Replacing Mountain Dew with Water Put Josh Pospy on the Path to Shed 130 Pounds 


How Replacing Mountain Dew with Water Put Josh Pospy on the Path to Shed 130 Pounds

Eighteen months. That’s how long it took Josh Pospy to go from being in the best shape of his life thanks to regular CrossFit classes, to weighing 298 pounds.

The details: After starting CrossFit in 2013 and seeing quick results, Pospy moved from Florence, Al, to Birmingham, AL to start a new career, and the move messed with his routine.

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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

12/3 - 12/4: Torino Challenge (Moncalieri (TO), Italy)
12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

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