Good Morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The new decade is young and as Tommy Marquez outlines, so too is the next generation of CrossFit athletes gunning for greatness. He profiles several of the up-and-comers to keep an eye on as the Sanctionals season heats up in the coming weeks. Keeping with the theme of young CrossFitters and in a trend that seems to be growing, we learn about Harriet Roberts, the women’s individual winner of the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge and her efforts to bring the sport and the community to students at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia.
As we head into the first weekend of 2020, make sure to pass along any tips or highlights: [email protected]
“I don’t care if you’re runnin’ towards your goal or if you’re on your knees f*ckin’ crawlin’, just stay pointed in that direction, keep chuggin’, you’ll get there.”
— Mat Fraser
Games Athlete Coaches “CrossFit” As A Subject To High Schoolers
Harriet Roberts is bound to have street-cred with her students upon returning home to Australia. She qualified for her first CrossFit Games as an individual athlete by winning China’s Pandaland CrossFit Challenge last month.
But the New Zealand born athlete’s not a teacher, instead a Level 1 coach bringing CrossFit to teenage boys at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia.
While some students may elect to major in rugby or soccer, Roberts teaches CrossFit as an elective subject for teenage boys – her students ranging from 12 to 18 years old.
“It’s a big challenge with some kids who haven’t done anything before to some kids that are kind of progressing along,” she said.
How it works: Don’t think these students are maxing out their clean, or even setting their sights on heading to the Games anytime soon.
Roberts tailors an individualized program to her students after assessing their baseline skills, strength and ability: “That’s like a movement assessment and that’s our number one thing–make sure they’re moving well,” she said.
The assessment – mirroring the CrossFit fundamentals – focuses on things like squatting and basic body position before students are placed into different groups depending on how they move. Students are then given a skill or strength-based program to work on in the first half of class, before they come together at the end of the class for a conditioning piece. It’s here, effort over proficiency is the number one objective.
“I have big respect for the kids who give 100 percent whether they’re the best athletes or the worst … that’s what they get rewarded for,” Roberts said.
It’s Saturday morning of the 2019 CrossFit Games, and the whole community is reeling after the final cut narrowed the field to just ten athletes – eliminating a host of big names in the process. Among the final ten women was 18 year-old Haley Adams, who finished the weekend in sixth overall and earned herself rookie of the year honors in the process. Adams’ performance ushered in discussions about the future of the sport and who might be the next wave of CrossFit Games athletes.
The current leaders of the individual elite divisions came to the forefront during the 2014 and 2015 seasons when they inherited their spots from legends like Rich Froning, Kristan Clever, Jason Khalipa, Chris Spealler, and Julie Foucher. Eventually, Mat Fraser, Tia Toomey, and the rest will step aside for the next generation of athletes like Adams, but she won’t be alone. Below are a handful of talented young men and women who could step up to the plate and join her as future stars.
Age: 20 Country: United States Notable Finish: 1st at the 2019 CrossFit Filthy 150
Why he’s legit: Years ago I wrote about Medeiros, who has been on the brink of breaking through to the Games for quite some time. His perseverance in the face of adversity points to an athlete mature beyond his years. In 2016 he finished 19th in the Open for the teenage boys 16-17 division, but that was the last year that they only took 10 athletes to the Games. The next two seasons, Medeiros would finish 15th, and 14th respectively at the California and West Regionals against an increasingly deeper talent pool as Regional reorganization combined the entire west coast and parts of Canada. In 2019 he was painfully close to earning a spot at the Games, missing
the invite at the Granite Games by one place as he finished 4th after falling out of a podium spot on the final workout. Unfazed, Medieros and his coach Adam Neiffer went back to work and six months later Medeiros finally booked his Games ticket by winning the Filthy 150 ahead of a collection of Games veterans. He’s battle tested, and proven in live competition.
Age: 21 Country: Poland Notable Finish: 17th worldwide in the 2020 Open
Why she’s legit: Migala has been towards the top of the sport for the larger part of five seasons, starting with her third place finish at the Games as a teenager in 2016. Two years later, Migala finished 6th at the 2018 Europe Regional – missing the Games by one spot and setting an event record for the Triple 3 event that would stand until the final week. She’s finished in the top 30 worldwide in the Open for three consecutive years and once again qualified for the Games as the fittest in Poland with her best worldwide finish ever this season. Despite finishing 75th at the Games last year, she’s already shown improvement against the sport’s best, finishing fourth in Dubai last month (ahead of Jamie Greene) and never finishing lower than 8th in an event. That’s the type of consistency that will ensure her Games weekend lasts longer this year.
Luis Oscar Mora
Age: 20 Country: Mexico Notable Finish: 1st in Mexico in the 2020 Open
Why he’s legit: Luis Oscar Mora started his CrossFit Games career by finishing fourth at the Games as a teenager in 2016. That year he became a fan favorite, as a sizeable mexican fan base at the Games brought an infectious energy to the soccer stadium. In 2018 he barely missed qualifying by one spot after finishing second at the Latin America Regional. This year he’s in line pending review to become the fittest man in Mexico for the second time, earning himself a rookie trip to the Games as an individual. Latin America has yet to truly make it’s mark at the Games on the individual side of the house, but an athlete like Mora does provide hope for the future. At just 20 years old, he could be a perennial qualifier out of Mexico for quite some time, and taking the long term approach to his career means he can build experience at the Games for a handful of seasons before
he even really starts to hit his athletic prime.
Emma Cary and Olivia Sulek
Age: 16 Country: United States Notable Finishes: 1st at the CrossFit Games (Sulek ‘18, Cary ‘19, 14-15 division)
Why they’re legit: This would be tough to comprehend with only one athlete, but the fact that both Emma Cary and Olivia Sulek are in the same boat for this discussion is mind-boggling. Both are CrossFit Games champions in the teenage girls 14-15 division, and both very nearly became the first athletes since the creation of the teenage division to qualify as individuals for the CrossFit Games – a feat they could still accomplish next year. Through two weeks of the Open this year Cary was in the top-10 overall, and despite falling to 80th, she finished three of the five workouts in 12th or better worldwide, which is insane. Sulek didn’t have the flashy finishes that Cary had, but she kept things between the buoys better overall and finished 50th worldwide in the Open. We should get to see them battle it out at the Games in the teenage division, but their time at the Games
as individuals could come sooner than later even though they’re barely old enough to get a driver’s license.
Age: 18 Country: United States Notable Finish: 1st at 2019 CrossFit Games (16-17 division)
Why he’s legit: Pepper is the most accomplished teenage athlete in CrossFit Games history, and the only one to win three titles – winning consecutively in both the 14-15 and 16-17 division the last three seasons. His first Open this season as a full fledged adult wasn’t tremendous – he finished 628th worldwide – but he’s still in high school and spent this fall finishing his senior season of football for Spanish Forks High School. He’s got plenty of room left to grow still, but his track record at the Games, and top end strength (280lb snatch anyone?) set the foundation for Pepper to be one of the next American youngsters to rise the ranks in the next couple seasons. A bonus point for Pepper is that he’s a multi-sport athlete for his high school, playing baseball as well, which points to a level of athleticism that’s often rewarded in the upper echelons of the sport
when programming steps outside of the normal confines of the affiliate.
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Mat Fraser — Pursuit for Better
Four-time CrossFit Games champion Mathew Fraser opens up in this raw and exceptional documentary on the pursuit of greatness, his journey and the roadblocks he’s pushed through to become a champion.
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In Episode 12 of A Fresh Cup of Fitness, hosts Jessica Danger and Brittany Marsh share some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions in the United States, how to shape and define your own, and ways to ensure success in developing new habits. If you take just one thing from this episode, let it be this: When setting new goals, make sure you’re building new habits to support them as you go.
RPM Challenges CrossFit Community To 10k Dubs To Help At-Risk Youth
That’s right, 10,000 double unders in under 30 days. The challenge started as a crazy idea among a few team members at RPM Training and has grown to become an annual event with thousands of participants from around the world. This year, all proceeds raised through the 10K Challenge will be donated to RPM’s foundation, The Iron Compass Initiative and Steve’s Club, two organizations dedicated to providing free functional fitness training and mentorship to underprivileged, at-risk youth.
How does it work: Go to the 10K Challenge website and register to enter. Then, use your own personal dashboard to log your jumps, follow your friends and favorite athletes on the challenge leaderboard, and unlock discounts and other goodies from some of your favorite brands. The challenge starts on January 6, 2020, so you have to move fast.
How do I survive 10k dubs: Kelly Starrett, founder of The Ready State, has partnered with RPM and as a participant in the 10K Challenge you will get access to tons of mobility and maintenance exercises to help you navigate all that volume without limping around your home and office for a few weeks.
How can I donate: By paying your $10 registration fee you are already making a donation to The Iron Compass Initiative and Steve’s Club. You can even choose to donate more.
What if I can’t do double unders: That’s ok! You can do single unders or a mixture of singles and doubles. When you log your jumps, you’ll have the option to select which version you did. And think about how much better your jumps will be after a month of practice.
Morning Chalk Up
MACC Qualifier Kicks Off + Sanctionals Roundup
The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge two-week-long online qualifier for individuals kicked off Wednesday with two WODs and three scored events. Athletes wanting to qualify have until January 6 at 8:00 PM ET to complete the first set of workouts. If the deadline is missed, their scores will be invalid. There are a minimum of 20 spots for the elite division. More details on how to qualify in our definitive guide to qualifying for Sanctionals.
DB Squat Cleans (50/35)
Time Cap: 15 Minutes
From 15:00 – 22:00 find 1RM clean
12 Minute AMRAP
15 Toes to Bar |
10 Strict HSPU
5 Devil Presses (50/35)
Reykjavik CrossFit Championship announces the first wave of confirmed athletes for the April Sanctional. The prize purse will be 1). $8150, 2). $4074, and 3). $2037.
Kelsey Kiel, 3x Games team athlete
Eik Gylfadottir, 3x Games athlete
Matilde Garnes, 2nd fittest in Norway
Stephanie Chung, 1x Games athlete
Johanna Juliusdottir, 1x Games team
Adrian Mundwiler, 3x Games athlete
Will Jane, 3x Regional athlete
Marcus Ericsson, Europe Regionals ’18
Fabian Beneito, 2nd fittest in Spain
Javi Bustos, Spain
Haraldur Holgersson, 1x Games teen and 1x Games team