After three weeks of CrossFit Open workouts the field has started to settle. Three solid tests of fitness have begun to eliminate those who have holes in their resume. The 16.4 Open announcement is tomorrow and will be a critical workout for all athletes on the brink of qualifying for Regionals.
In United States regions, the top 20 qualify for Regionals. In Australia and Europe, the top 30 qualify. And in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the top 10 qualify. In 2015, no athlete representing Africa, Asia or Latin America made it to the CrossFit Games. The 80 individual athletes, 40 men and 40 women, came from the United States, Australia and Europe.
With the field getting stronger and stronger each year, let’s take a look at the athletes from the 2015 CrossFit Games and see who is in jeopardy of missing the cut for Regionals.
On the women’s side, four Games veterans are not participating this year (Denae Brown, Jessica Core, Amanda Goodman and Lindsey Valenzuela). Of the 36 athletes competing again this year, ten athletes are ranked first in their region and 20 athletes are in the top 3. Surprisingly, all 36 athletes are in the top 20 in their respective regions. Lindy Barber is the lowest ranked at 20th in the Central region. However, Barber is competing in the Team division this year on CrossFit Mayhem Freedom. Elisabeth Akinwale is ranked 16th in the North Central region and is only eight points ahead of 21st place.
But while there aren’t too many women in serious jeopardy of not qualifying for Regionals, the Meridian Regional is looking really strong. Thuridur Erla Helgadottir, 28th at the 2015 CrossFit Games, is currently in 23rd place in the world after 16.3. However, in the Europe region, Helgadottir is sitting in 6th place. To put it in perspective, Katrin Davidsdottir, the 2015 World’s Fittest Woman, is in 1st place in her new North East region, but would be in 12th if she was still competing in the Europe region.
The men’s side is a lot more hectic. Six men from the 2015 CrossFit Games are not competing this year (Chad Cole, Ben Garard, Chad Mackay, Neal Maddox, Jon Pera, Joe Scali and Kevin Simons). Additionally, Chad Melton competed in the first week but did not submit a score for 16.2.
So of the 33 men returning from last year, only 6 are leading their regions. Thirteen athletes are in the top 3 in their respective regions. Only one athlete, Nick Urankar, is currently on the outside looking in. Urankar is 24th in the Central East region, eight points shy of 20th place so he’s still in the game. Also, keep in mind, athletes such as Rich Froning, James Hobart and Matt Hewett, all on team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, will forego their individual invitation pushing Urankar closer to making the cut.
There are a few other athletes that are ranked lower in the worldwide rankings than Urankar, but because of the regions they are in, they are not in serious danger of missing the cut to Regionals. Tyson Takasaki is 774th in the world, but is ranked 12th in the Canada West region. Kevin Manuel is 28th in Australia, but because Australia advances 30 spots to Regionals he is still safe.