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Young Guns in 2021: Who to Watch

Morning Chalk Up

February 20   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Young Guns: Rising stars to watch in the 2021 CrossFit Games season.
  • Adidas confirms rumors, plans to divest from Reebok.
  • Brian Hricay commits to small changes, loses 100 pounds.
  • The winner of the $50 Rogue gift card is Joseph R.
  • Our limited release “More Chalk Less Talk” t-shirt is now available for pre-order. Shop now.

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” - Archilochus, (A variation of this quote is also used by US Navy Seals -- "You don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.")

  Young Guns 2021: Athletes to Watch This Season 

Young Guns 2021: Athletes to Watch This Season

Every CrossFit season introduces us to new up-and-coming stars. A young athlete who comes out of nowhere to make their mark in the sport and get people discussing if and when they will be contending for a podium spot and ultimately the title of the “Fittest” at the CrossFit Games.

We asked our team of expert Games analysts in Tommy Marquez, Patrick Clark and Brian Friend who they predict will be the next breakout star for the 2021 Games season.

What we are looking for: Last year Tommy hit on his first two athletes in his “Young Guns” piece, with Justin Medeiros finishing on the podium at 21-years old and Gabriela Migala finishing 18th in her 2020 Games appearance. They were preceded by the likes of Haley Adams, Laura Horváth, Brooke Wells, Saxon Panchik, Jonne Koski, Samuel Kwant, Cody Anderson, Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson and even Tia-Clair Toomey who was 21 years old when she made her debut at the 2015 Games.

Criteria: We kept the criteria pretty simple in that the athlete must be 23 years old or younger and have no previous individual Games experience. We asked our analysts to pick one man and one woman and why they think that athlete is a name to keep an eye on for the upcoming season.

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  • Noah Ohlsen is the newest member of the WHOOP Team.
    • Ohlsen: “After about eight months of testing, I get to share with you all that I’m officially a WHOOP athlete. The little band you’ve seen on my left wrist in every photo and video lately, isn’t just a fashion piece. It’s a wearable tech device that gives me tangible data regarding the level of strain I’m building throughout the day and how well I’m sleeping and recovering. As I strive to take my fitness to the next level, they’re striving to do the same with their technology. I’m excited about the breakthroughs I know we’ll accomplish together!”
  • Morning Chalk Up staff writer Patrick Clark was a guest on the Two Toned Training podcast yesterday and discussed covering CrossFit events, interviewing the Fittest on Man and Woman on Earth and what happens when you no-rep Tia-Clair Toomey on a big stage.
  • The Rogue Bear Hug Challenge wrapped this week. Here’s the final leaderboard:
    1. Nani Ourique — 12:18 | Taylor Williamson — 19:04
    2. David Harrison — 11:17 | Kristy Bauer — 15:09
    3. Joel Moore — 8:59 | Hannah Linzay — 9:07
  • Faith RXD and Help for Texas: If you are a general contractor, plumber or electrician and interested in helping with the rehabilitation efforts in Texas, please contact Lindsey Strickler from Faith RXD. from FaithRX’d in Speed Reads
  • O2 x Goodr Giveaway: Enter now to win a case of O2 and two pairs of Goodr sunglasses.
  Adidas Divests From Reebok 

Adidas Divests From Reebok

Representatives from German sportswear brand Adidas announced Tuesday that it plans to divest from Reebok.

  • “The long-term growth opportunities in our industry are highly attractive, particularly for iconic sports brands,” said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsetd in a statement. “After careful consideration, we have come to the conclusion that Reebok and Adidas will be able to significantly better realize their growth potential independently of each other.”

Remind me: Rumors that Adidas was looking to sell Reebok, a company known for its connection to CrossFit, have been circulating since the fall of 2020.

  • Adidas spent four years trying to revitalize Reebok in a strategic plan called “Muscle Up” that launched in 2016.  In a release, the company says “the brand was able to significantly improve its growth and profitability prospects, laying the foundation to unleash its full potential in the highly attractive global sporting goods market.”
  • According to Bloomberg, Reebok accounted for 7.5% of company sales. A report from Reuters notes Reebok sales fell 7% in the third quarter of 2020 and as much as 44% in the prior quarter.
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  • CrossFit Full Potential, owned by Danny Vadala in Newburyport, MA celebrated its 10th birthday on February 14.
  • New Gym: Lotus Performance Training is opening in San Antonio, TX. The gym will cater specifically to masters aged athletes and the first month will be 50% off for new athletes and discounted thereafter.
  • Grand Re-Opening: CrossFit Pine Creek in Pittsburgh, PA officially closed on February 1 due to Covid-19 hardship, but the gym has been bought by new ownership and will re-open on March 1.
  • Three Aspen women, Katie Ertl, Megan Harvey Bourke and Jessica Moore are buying Aspen CrossFit and will officially take ownership on March 1.
  • CrossFit and Mindset: Nicole Gamm a coach at M4G CrossFit in Indianapolis, IN along with fellow coaches Kaden Sloan and John Rhorer asked members of their gym to come together to tell their stories. They were asked two questions — “Describe your mental health status prior to Crossfit” and “How has Crossfit positively impacted your mental health?.” Here’s the resulting video.
  • More than Fitness: CrossFit Queen Street in Kingston, ON produced an inspiring video about their community called “More Than Fitness.” Gym-member Jake Forsythe directed and recorded it.
  • Driven Row Club: At Iron Hero CrossFit in Omaha, NE, Bella Daugherty started the Driven Row Club while recovering from ankle surgery. In its seventh week now, the club is going strong and combines rowing with functional fitness.
  • Beacon Community Fitness in Portland, ME is holding a fundraiser today for Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit organization that supports families that have children with life-threatening illnesses. The camp provides week-long retreats to these families to provide some respite from all the doctors and disease, experience some joy and connect with other families. Learn how to donate and how to get your gym involved.
  • WOD and Wine: CrossFit Fort Dobbs is teaming up with Lake Mountain Coffee for a workout and wine today at 4:30.
  “Incremental Changes,” Supportive Community Helps Bryan Hricay Lose 100 Pounds 

“Incremental Changes,” Supportive Community Helps Bryan Hricay Lose 100 Pounds

When Bryan Hricay showed up for a class at CrossFit Hoboken in NJ, what he saw scared him.

  • “I looked up and on the white board, in a blue dry erase marker, was written five sets of 20 push-ups, along with three other exercises I had no idea what they were…I knew there was no way I could do 100 push-ups,” remembered Hricay of one of his first workouts at CrossFit Hoboken in the spring of 2019. At the time, the now 32-year-old weighed 285 pounds at 6-foot-5.

What happened next: One of the coaches helped Hricay adjust the workout so he could get through it, reducing the reps to just five push-ups on his knees each round. Still, Hricay struggled to finish.

  • “I remember there were less than two minutes left on the clock and everyone else had already finished. I was the only one still working and I really hit a wall. I was face down on the floor. There was a puddle of my own sweat around me, and I couldn’t do any more push-ups. I just about got up, walked out and quit,” he said.
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  “Incremental Changes,” Supportive Community Helps Bryan Hricay Lose 100 Pounds 

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The Single-Leg RDL

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Get Your Monthly FITAID Fix

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Ben Bergeron's Thoughts on Whether or Not Ricky Gerard Should Get a Second Chance

The Chasing Excellence podcast has been trying out a new format lately called "HopperTalk." It's a rapid-fire Q&A style discussion between Coach Bergeron and Patrick Cummings. On this episode they tackle Ricky Gerard, where Lebron James might place at the CrossFit Games, what old person things that we do, pet peeves, and more.



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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.

10/1: Lansing’s Strongest 2022 (Lansing, MI)
10/1 - 10/2: Fittest in the Fall (Indianapolis, IN)
10/1: Guava Games (Tampa, FL)
10/1: Masters Mayhem (Kilgore, TX)
10/1: WODtoberfest 2022 (Saint Clairsville, OH)
10/1: Battle of the Vikings (Frederick, MD)
10/1: North Dallas Rumble (Dallas, TX)
10/1: Warrior Games 2022 (Suffield, CT)
10/1 - 10/2: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/1: West Town Throwdown (Chicago, IL)
10/1: Legends of the Falls 2022 (Gadsden, AL)
10/2 - 10/16: CHLKDUP Box League – Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
10/2: The IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: Battle in the Berg (Newberg, OR)
10/7 - 10/8: Koda Iron Games (Lafayette, CO)
10/8: Mayhem & Massacre @ Infinite Fitness & Health (Wharton, NJ)
10/8 - 10/9: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival (MACC FEST) (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Fall Brawl at CrossFit Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA)
10/8 - 10/9: MACC FEST (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Rua Rumble II (Frankfort, IL)
10/8: Nightmare On Wod Street (Spring Lake, MI)
10/8: The X Games (Brooklawn, NJ)
10/14 - 10/16: 3F Throwdown (Poreč, Croatia)
10/15: Ragin Games 2022 (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/15: PAINKLLR Nashville (Nashville, TN)
10/15: Ragin Games (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: 7th Annual Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Omaha (Gretna, NE)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
10/15: Diamond K Classic (Birmingham, AL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Belleville (Belleville, Canada)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx San Diego (Alpine, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Iowa (Des Miones, IA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Southern Illinois (Highland Robinson, IL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Newport News (Newport News, VA)
10/15: Mid Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
10/15: Bridgetown Throwdown (City of Industry, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Richmond (Richmond, Canada)
10/21 - 10/23: Battledrome Championship (Milan, Italy)
10/22: 8th Annual Crossfit Pittsfield Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Doomsday 2022 (Palm Springs, CA)
10/22: The Humble Games Fall Throwdown (Hanover, MD)
10/22: Goblin Gauntlet – CrossFit Sandy (Sandy, UT)
10/22: 8th annual fall brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Festivals Games – CrossFit 906 Ishpeming, MI (Ishpeming, MI)
10/22 - 10/23: Rep It Out (Sheffield, England)
10/22: Clash at the Creek 2022 (Knoxville, TN)
10/22: Festivus Games – Teams @ Crossfit Clan (Parsippany, NJ)
10/22: Ironclad (League City, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games (Waukesha, WI)
10/22: Scream and Clean 2 (Danbury, CT)
10/22: SE TEX Masters Fall Classic 2022 (Cypress, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games Pairs – Same-Sex or Mixed-Sex (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Black and Brewed (Huntsville, AL)
10/22: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Dreamland Games 3 (same sex pairs) (Portsmouth, OH)
10/22: 2022 Arsenal Throwdown (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/29 - 10/30: Chi-Town Throwdown (Elmhurst, IL)
10/29 - 10/30: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/29: Heartland Games (Kearney, NE)
10/29 - 10/30: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Black Hive West (Jacksonville, FL)
10/30 - 11/20: CHLKDUP Box League – Nashville (Nashville, TN)
11/1 - 11/21: MFLH X FFTF Partner Series Online Qualifier (New York, NY)
11/5 - 11/6: Reignited Games (Wilmington, NC)
11/5: Fall’s Fittest Partner Throwdown (Amherst, OH)
11/5: Best of the Wurst (New Braunfels, TX)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Salt Lake, UT)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
11/12: CrossFit Exodus Throwdown (Bridgeport, TX)
11/19: Babes & Beasts TURF Games 2022 (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
11/19: Cactus Classic 2022 (Phoenix, AZ)

See all upcoming events

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