The SouthFit CrossFit Challenge (“SCC”) begins on Friday. It is the second Sanctional competition of the 2020 season. Held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the SCC used the International Online Qualifier (or IOQ) to field a large share of its athlete line-up.
Like two weekends ago at the CrossFit Filthy 150, the top individual male and female (who have yet to qualify for the Games via the Open) will earn an invite to the compete at the 2020 CrossFit Games. For teams, winner takes all. The top team will also receive an invite to compete in Madison next August.
There will 43 men, 42 women and 14 teams competing over the weekend. Let’s take a look at each of the divisions.
The women’s field has 13 athletes from SouthFit’s home country of Argentina, including Melina Rodriguez who currently sits atop Argentina’s leaderboard in the 2020 Open.
Here is who will likely qualify via the 2020 CrossFit Games and will not be competing for an invite to the Games:
- Victoria Frascolla (National Champion of Uruguay)
- Melina Rodriguez (National Champion of Argentina)
- Simona Quintana Silva (National Champion of Chile)
- Andrea Solberg (CrossFit Filthy 150 Invite)
The fight for a CrossFit Games invite will likely come down to two athletes: Bethany Shadburne and Maddie Sturt. Both athletes failed to qualify via the Top 20 in the Open and now must go through a Sanctional to get back to Madison next August.
Sturt sits in 38th in the Open while Shadburne is in 45th. Sturt has competed at the last four CrossFit Games while Shadburne has been to the last three. In the three Games where they both competed, Shadburne has held the advantage every year.
Prediction: We expect these athletes to take the top 2 spots. But based on head-to-head comparisons at the Games, we predict to see Shadburne take the Sanctional win and receive the invite to the CrossFit Games.
Like the women’s field, 13 athletes are from Argentina. But unlike the women’s field, only two athletes have likely already qualified via the Open:
- Jean-Simon Roy-Lemaire (Top 20 Qualifier)
- Juan Manuel Seitun (National Champion of Uruguay)
That means the other 41 athletes are all in contention. The most notable names in the field are from Australia: Rob Forte and Zeke Grove. They will likely face stiff competition from fellow Australian Jay Crouch and Americans Norman Woodring, Jake Marconi, Matt Morton and Eric Evans.
Forte and Grove are multi-year individual Games veterans. On top of that, both competed on the X-Terminators team that finished 11th at last year’s CrossFit Games. While Forte and Grove have the most experience at the Games, there are men who will challenge them to make their first Games appearance.
|2020 Open Rank|
Prediction: While the veterans will be in the mix, it will come down to one of the “new” guys. Norman Woodring is our pick for who will emerge on top of a pretty even field at the top of the leaderboard. Woodring is a 4-time Regional athlete and had a good showing at last year’s CrossFit Strength in Depth Sanctional where he finished 7th overall.
Of the 14 teams competing, 11 are from South America. Nine of which are predominantly from Argentina. We don’t have too much information about the athletes on these teams, but they do not have enough firepower to match the two teams from the United States.
The teams that are the favorites (and are CrossFit household names) are Invictus and Team Odd Squat.
Team Odd Squat
The Invictus team returns three of the four teammates from last year’s 3rd place team at the Games. Eric Carmody replaces Tommy Vinas this year. Carmody has been to the CrossFit Games three times, twice as an individual and once on a team (also Invictus). Last year Carmody finished 38th as an individual.
Team Odd Squat also has a roster full of Games veterans. Cook, Luckett and Johnson have all competed as individuals at the Games while Tanner competed at the Games on a team.
Prediction: These two teams will be battling back and forth all weekend. With the exception of an event or two, it’s hard to see either team finishing an event outside the top 3. It that’s the case it will likely come down to which team can avoid one bad (or even mediocre) event. We are picking Invictus to come away with the Sanctional win and earn a Games invite.