The first weekend of the 2023 CrossFit Semifinals wrapped up and 25 individuals and 11 teams have punched their ticket to Madison, Wisconsin, to compete at the 2023 CrossFit Games. The North America East and Africa Semifinals kicked off the first live competition stage of the 2023 Games season with a lot on the line.
In Orlando, Florida, the North America East Semifinal hosted 60 men, 60 women and 40 teams who would fight for a qualifying spot for the CrossFit Games. Of those competing, the top 12 men, 11 women and 10 teams would earn an invite to Madison later this year.
And in Africa, the REBEL Renegade Games, host of the Africa Semifinal, showcased 30 men, 30 women and 20 teams. However, with only one qualifying spot for each division, there was little room for error.
While the top of the leaderboard in North America East was jockeying for prize money and bragging rights, most eyes were focused around the cut line at the end of the weekend. That is where the drama unfolded with only a few points (or a tiebreak) determined who’s season continued and whose ended here.
North America East
For the teams, CrossFit Milford Team Conquer and 8th Day CrossFit both ended the weekend with 402 points, a tie for 10th place – the final qualifying spot. CrossFit Milford Team Conquer, however, won the tiebreak with their 2nd place finish on Event 5 (besting 8th Day CrossFit’s best finish of 6th place in Event 2).
On the individual side, Paige Semenza edged out Anikha Greer and Jordan Szewc but just three points Sunday afternoon. There were four women within 8 points of the Semenza and the final qualifying spot who narrowly missed out on making the Games. That included last year’s 5th place finisher at the CrossFit Games, Brooke Wells, and three-time Games veteran Carolyne Prevost.
The final points on the men’s side was not as close as the women’s, but Heat 5 was quite intense as Spencer Panchik held off Austin Hatfield to earn the final qualifying spot.
In Africa, CrossFit FBDV Mayhem Africa looked strong all weekend, never finishing outside the top 3 in any Event. They held off Cape CrossFit Wolfpack by 25 points to earn the sole qualifying spot in the team division.
On the men’s side, 39-year-old Games veteran Jason Smith took the crown to earn his fourth appearance to the CrossFit Games. Smith decided to make another run at the individual division after he received a major penalty during the Age Group Quarterfinals and failed to advance to the Age Group Semifinals. The decision paid off as he ran away from the rest of the field. Last year’s qualifier out of Africa, Kealan Henry, withdrew Sunday morning after dealing with a stomach bug all week.
The women’s race was much closer. Michelle Basnett held a nine point lead over Mariska Smit going into the final Event. Basnett paced the bike, toes-to-bar and sandbag carry perfectly to win the Event and earn her second trip to the CrossFit Games.
So here are the 25 individuals and 11 teams who have qualified for the 2023 CrossFit Games. In total, three men and three women will be making their rookie debut as an individual at the CrossFit Games.
|Jeff Adler (NAE)||Emma Cary (NAE)|
|Jayson Hopper (NAE)||Danielle Brandon (NAE)|
|Dallin Pepper (NAE)||Amanda Barnhart (NAE)|
|Roman Khrennikov (NAE)||Emma Lawson (NAE)|
|Samuel Cournoyer (NAE)||Alexis Raptis (NAE)|
|Will Moorad (NAE)||Paige Powers (NAE)|
|Noah Ohlsen (NAE)||Sydney Wells* (NAE)|
|Luke Parker* (NAE)||Fee Saghafi (NAE)|
|Alex Vigneault (NAE)||Shelby Neal* (NAE)|
|Jack Farlow* (NAE)||Caroline Stanley* (NAE)|
|James Sprague* (NAE)||Paige Semenza (NAE)|
|Spencer Panchik (NAE)||Michelle Basnett (Africa)|
|Jason Smith (Africa)|
*denotes rookie appearance as individual athlete at CrossFit Games
|CrossFit East Nashville PRVN (NAE)|
|CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 (NAE)|
|AB CrossFit – Mayhem (NAE)|
|CrossFit Mayhem Independence (NAE)|
|CrossFit Krypton (NAE)|
|CrossFit CLT The Grit Haus (NAE)|
|CrossFit OBA (NAE)|
|TTT CrossFit Black (NAE)|
|CrossFit PSC Invasion (NAE)|
|CrossFit Milford Team Conquer (NAE)|
|CrossFit FBDV Mayhem Africa (Africa)|