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Fraser, Horvath Win, Shorunke, Kiel Punch Their Ticket

Morning Chalk Up

January 27


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. CrossFit Strength in Depth, the sixth Sanctional of the 2019-2020 season, wrapped up in London yesterday, we’ve got the full recap and analysis. Today:

  • Fraser, Horvath, and Mayhem top the podium while two more individual Games invites are secured.
  • Seven more coaches to join Sigmundsdottir at Freakest Challenge.
  • Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge announces first 20 athletes in men’s and women’s elite divisions.
  • Sanctionals news and notes.

As always, send those PRs, big lifts, and story tips our way at [email protected].   



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Strength in Depth: Final Recap

  Strength in Depth: Final Recap  

The sold-out NOCCO Arena was treated to a show of CrossFit greatness on the final day of the Strength in Depth Sanctional on Sunday afternoon. The women’s and team competitions came down to the final event as Laura Horvath and Mayhem Freedom took their respected titles, while Mathew Fraser continued his dominance, winning the men’s title.

The battle for the individual Games invites went to two athletes who previously competed at the Games on teams and now will be making their first appearances as individual competitors in Madison.

Team Division: Mayhem Freedom punched its sixth consecutive ticket for the CrossFit Games in an epic comeback. After placing ninth in the opening event and sitting in fourth after day one, the team of Rich Froning, Tasia Percevecz, Chyna Cho and new team member Scott Panchik reeled off five straight wins to overcome Team WHEY’D for the lead. Heading into the final workout with just an 18-point lead over WHEY’D, Mayhem secured their second ever Sanctional title with a second-place event finish.

  • Five event wins in London gives Mayhem Freedom a career total of 12 Sanctional victories, the most by any team since the implementation of the Sanctional format.
  • Including the Games, Mayhem Freedom has won 17 out of a possible 35 events that they have competed in since the Sanctional format was introduced. The 17 wins are the most of any team.
  • The automatic Games invitation for Rich Froning will be his 11th-straight. He competed as an individual from 2010-2014.
  • For Panchik, he will be making his ninth-straight Games appearance and first as a member of a team.
  • Cho will be making her seventh-straight Games appearance and second-straight with Mayhem Freedom.
  • Team WHEY’D finished second, just 28 points behind Mayhem Freedom.
  • CrossFit Roseland won the final event, beating Mayhem Freedom by five seconds.

Women’s Division: Laura Horvath held just a five-point lead over Polish national champion Gabriela Migala heading into the final event, but showed no signs of nerves or pressure. She dominated the final and even cracked a smile while finishing up her last overhead squats as she racked up her fourth event win of the weekend and secured the top podium finish.

  • After a disappointing 2019 season for the 2018 CrossFit Games runner-up, Horvath picked up her first career Sanctional title.
  • Kelsey Kiel is heading to the 2020 Games after earning the Sanctional invitation with her fifth-place finish.
  • The top four finishers, Horvath, Migala, Haley Adams and Camilla Salomonsson Hellman all had their invites to the Games secured.
  • Horvath now has five career Sanctional event wins.
  • Kiel finished second in the final event behind Horvath to clinch her Games invitation. It was her second runner-up finish of the weekend. Kiel finished in the top four in three of the final four events to secure her ticket to Madison.
  • Steph Chung, competing in her third Sanctional of the season, finished sixth just behind Kiel for the Games qualifying spot. She finished with four top-five finishes including a third and fourth place on the final day of competition.
  • Migala was able to put pressure on Horvath into the final event thanks in part to six top-five finishes, including two event wins.

Men’s Division: The Fittest Man of Earth, Mathew Fraser, looked in championship form as he again dominated the competition floor. He was a perfect five for five in event wins inside the NOCCO Arena. He won his third career Sanctional in as many tries by winning taking all four of the final events of the weekend in succession.

  • Fraser’s 116 point victory is the largest margin of victory for a male athlete this season.
  • With his five event wins in London, Fraser now has 15 Sanctional victories in 24 events.
  • Including the 2019 Games, Fraser has 21 wins in 36 events since the beginning of the Sanctional format.
  • Runner-up David Shorunke will receive the 2020 Games invitation. The hometown favorite overcame Lukas Hӧgberg in the first event of the day for the coveted spot. He held a nine-point lead heading into the final and was able to finish ahead of Hӧgberg to clinch his first career individual Games invitation.
  • Shorunke, who finished two spots below the final Open cutline, will join fellow countrymen Zack George and Elliot Simmonds and represent the Union Jack in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Hӧgberg’s bid to become the first male athlete to earn a Games berth without competing in the Open came up one place short. After sitting in the invitation spot heading into the final day, he placed 11th and fifth in the final two events.
  • Over the final five events, Shorunke’s average place was third while Hӧgberg’s average place was 8.8. Shorunke’s worst finish during that span was fourth.
  • Bronislaw Olenkowicz’s fell short of defending his Strength in Depth title, despite a strong finish. He also came up short for the Games invite. In the final five events, his average placing was 2.8, including three runner-up finishes to Fraser.

The Final Top 10 Leaderboard

  1. Laura Horvath (562) | Mathew Fraser (612) | Mayhem Freedom (628)
  2. Gabriela Migala (541) | David Shorunke (496) | Team WHEY’D (600)
  3. Haley Adams (499) | Lukas Hӧgberg (483) | TRAINLIKEFIGHT.COM (550)
  4. Camilla Salomonsson Hellman (416) | Bronislaw Olenkowicz (476) | Vondelgym Motion (530)
  5. Kelsey Kiel (409) | Giorgos Karavis (441) | CrossFit Roseland (344)
  6. Steph Chung (359.5) | Andre Houdet (434) | AOD Fitness (324)
  7. Nicole Chovan (301) | Haraldur Holgersson (404) |  Team Nordvest Black (300)
  8. Tayla Howe (279.5) | Will Moorad (404) | Team Aarhus CrossFit (294)
  9. Carys Webster (277) | Nicolay Billaudel (366) | Stratton Oakmont (268)
  10. Alison Scudds (261) | Sam Stewart (363) | CrossFit Chester Elite (238)

Freakest Challenge Lineup: Fraser, Sigmundsdottir, Ohlsen + 5 Others

  Freakest Challenge Lineup: Fraser, Sigmundsdottir, Ohlsen + 5 Others  

Just a little more than a week after we released that Sara Sigmundsdottir would be one of eight NIKE athlete-mentors for the upcoming 2020 Freakest Challenge, we now know the seven other athletes to join her in Barcelona next weekend.

The details: Eight teams (MM-FF) from across Europe competed in an online qualifier for a chance to compete in Barcelona in a single day tournament-style competition. Each team will be paired with a NIKE athlete to serve as a coach during the competition in one of the most unique and exciting live events on the calendar.

  • Sara Sigmundsdottir
  • Lauren Fisher
  • Laura Horvath
  • There Helgadottir
  • Mathew Fraser
  • Noah Ohlsen
  • Lucas Hogberg
  • Willy Georges
  • Full list of teams.

One big thing: Last year, nearly two thousand fans packed out the Sant Jordi Club in Barcelona and close to two hundred thousand tuned into the livestream. The fact that this event last only three to four hours — compared to three-plus days like Sanctioned events — shows that there’s an appetite for content that can fit into one sitting. 


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Twenty Mid-Atlantic Qualifier Invites Announced

  Twenty Mid-Atlantic Qualifier Invites Announced  

The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge has sent out invitations from their online individual qualifiers. The invitations went out to the top 20 male and female athletes who took part in the four workouts over a two-week span this past January. The athletes then have till January 31 to accept or decline the invites.

Women’s division: Sixteen of the 20 invitees have CrossFit Regional experience and eight have Games experience either as an individual or on a team.

Notable women invitees:

  • Colleen Fotsch is a two-times CrossFit Games athlete, who helped NorCal CrossFit Redwood City to a fourth-place finish in 2017. Last season she made the Games as an individual when she placed 27th in the Worldwide Open.
  • Paige Semenza is a three-time Games qualifier, competing twice as an individual including last year when she placed 30th overall. She received her invite through a Sanctional when she placed second at the Brazil CrossFit Championship. Last year she competed at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge (MACC) where she placed fifth.
  • Amanda Goodman is a three-time individual Games athlete placing as high as 10th at the 2015 Games.
  • Nicole Holcomb has appeared at the Games three times, twice as an individual. Last season she was a member of the Central Beasts team that placed fifth.
  • Christine Kolenbrander has made two Games appearances all with CrossFit 417. This year as an individual she placed 47th in the Open.
  • Kelsey Kiel has reached the Games three times as a member of a team. She just earned her first individual Games invite through the Strength in Depth Sanctional.
  • Rachel Garibay is a two-time Games athlete who made her first appearance as an individual last year after earning the invite through a stacked field at the Rogue Invitational. She placed 40th at the 2019 Games. This year she finished 40th in the Open.
  • Alexis Raptis has two Games appearances in the 16-17 teen division, finishing second in 2016. Last year she placed eighth at the MACC.
  • Alexys D’Tiole has made three Regional appearances on a team and looks to earn her first invite to the Games. She finished 56th in the Open and recently finished 11th at the Mayhem Classic.

Men’s division: Thirteen of the invitees have CrossFit Regional experience with three of them competing at the Games either as an individual or on a team.

Notable men invites:

  • George Sterner has made two appearances at the Games including last year when he placed 32nd overall. In 2016 he placed second at the Games in the teen 16-17 division.
  • Marquan Jones has made one appearance at the Games as an individual in 2018. The three-time Regional athlete finished 40th in the Open this year. Last year he placed fourth at the MACC.
  • Owen Bernstein has made the Games twice as a member of a team.
  • Nycolas Joyal won the MACC online qualifier. The two-time Regional athlete finished 50th in the Open.
  • Jake Berman, a four-time Regional competitor, placed 52nd Open this year.
  • Norman Woodring has four Regionals under his belt as well, this year he placed 65th in the Open.
  • Jacob Pfaff is a two-time Regional athlete who is also a member of the US Army Warrior Fitness Team. Last year he qualified for the Rogue Invitational.

The Backfill Process: All athletes have until January 31 to accept their invitation to the competition. Any invite declines then will be backfilled from the online qualifiers; those invites have until February 3 to accept.

Additional Spots: The MACC has 20 additional invites each for the men’s and women’s division who finished in the top 100 of the Open. Those athletes must apply for that spot through an application. The deadline for the application is January 31.

Already Confirmed: Last year’s MACC winner John Paul Hethcock has confirmed his return to defend the title and earn his second invite to the Games. Also confirmed is Tammy Wildgoose, who secured her invite through the Atlantic State Qualifier.


Sanctionals News and Notes




Heppner Hits Rogue Qualifier WOD #1

A 10-minute AMRAP of rowing and thrusters; what could go wrong?

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Dave Castro on the Shooting USA Podcast

Dave Castro joins the Shooting USA Podcast to talk about guns, programming the CrossFit Games, and answers some questions about the new Sanctionals format.

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A Day With Brook Ence

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