Your 2017 CrossFit Games Rookies

R. Paul Castillo took the Central Regional by storm and finished on the top of the podium at the end of the weekend.
R. Paul Castillo took the Central Regional by storm and finished on the top of the podium at the end of the weekend. ©2017 CrossFit Inc. Used with permission from CrossFit Inc.

Experience is something that can only be earned. For athletes who have qualified for the CrossFit Games in previous years, the experience that comes with that cannot be replicated. So when a new athlete is in contention it can be a daunting experience.

As we have watched the Regionals over the past three weekends, mainstays like Mat Fraser, Scott Panchik, Emily Bridgers and Kara Webb seem to dominate the leaderboard. However, there are always newcomers who end up breaking through to qualify for their first CrossFit Games.

This year 15 men and 7 women will be making their first appearance at the CrossFit Games in Madison. And while some believed that this year’s programming could lead to some top athletes not qualifying, the number of rookies is in line with last year. In 2016, 16 men and 11 women made it to the CrossFit Games for the first time.

Let’s take a look at each rookie.


Tim Paulson (East)

Getting outta the pool this morning like … I have always dreaded getting in the water, because quite frankly, I was bad at it and felt like I was going to die…but i kept getting in, mostly because I was stubborn. Today was massive. It was the first time I’ve ever felt like I was swimming for exercise instead of survival. Actually racing the clock, not stopping at the wall to gasp for air and question why. I actually enjoyed being in the pool this morning. Progress. 📷 @crossfitgames #BeardedShark #RoadToTheGames #DicksOutForDC #ForgedByZeus #ProEnergyFit #TeamScivation #TeamRedLine #ZPCompression #Crossfit #Gymnastics #Weightlifting #Fitness @redlinegr @scivation @zpcompression_us @niketraining @crossfit @crossfitgames @zeus_boulder @eyesofclyde @cmpaulson101 @junkbrands

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Cody Mooney (East)

Michael Palomba (East)

Dakota Rager (South)

Tommy Vinas (South)

Ricky Garard (Pacific)

R. Paul Castillo (Central)

We did it! We took a 1st place at the @crossfitgames Central regional! So many sacrifices were made to get to this point! So much blood,sweat and tears. Last year at regionals on day 3 I sat in the bathroom and cried because I knew I wasn’t gonna make it to the games. This year, tears of joy as I hugged my mom,dad, kids and wife. Thank you to everyone who has ever believed in me! Thank you mom and dad for all that you do and have done for me! Thank you to my wife @brittakaycastillo for sacrificing all that you did these past few years. Cooking, cleaning, understanding when I’m away at the gym for hours, dealing with me. I love you. To all my training partners, especially @jimunno165 . you have been a god send this last year brother, you’ve done more than you can imagine in helping me get to the next level. Love you bro. To @sethyoumfer and @misfitathletics, your coaching and programming is top notch and I wouldn’t want anybody else in my corner. You guys stuck with me all weekend and helped me get mentally and physically ready for this. Your knowledge and experience is truly appreciated and I can’t wait to continue! To my @gc_crossfit family and especially @3t007 and @liftlabtol , thank you for all the support over the years. I told you I’d put us on the map! To my staff @fitness19toledo @thekaylafiles @kramerfitness @kentcorsbie and the rest of the crew thank you for holding down the fort! There are many more people that have helped and I thank you all! Let’s fucking go to Madison and make some NOISE!! #crossfit #crossfitgames #centralregionals #roadtothegames

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Streat Hoerner (Central)

It’s hard to find the words to describe how I am feeling. This past weekend was absolutely incredible. It was the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. 4 years ago I placed 8364th in the open. This year I am going to the Crossfit Games. Hard work does pay off. I could not have done this without the incredible support system around me. There are entirely too many people to thank but I’m going to do my best. Thank you to all of my family and friends that sent encouraging messages throughout weekend. Thank you to @crossfitrestoration @crossfitdubuque and @crossfitkilo2 and the entire communities within them. From my first day of crossfit until now, the gyms that have been apart of it. Thank you to Phil Gothard @just_aus @lukeschafer9 @kindalikabigdyl @chase_bushaw for being some of the most important parts in my evolution as a crossfit athlete. Thank you to @boxstarapparel for the support and believing in me. Thank you to Dan Johnson and @alix_beau for making sure my body was in tip top shape. Finally and most importantly, thank you to my parents. Thank you Sandy Hoerner for dragging me in to that crossfit gym 4 years ago and supporting me endlessly ever since. #GamesBound @crossfitgames

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Jason Carroll (California)

As most of you have seen or know; I have #qualified for the @crossfitgames placing #third out of my region in #California ….. and it took a #Village to get there. I normally shy away from these post’s because i feel like i can’t fit enough content to thank each and every one of you, but here it goes. @littleladycass 💙 the one who sees it all from the minute i wake up to the minute i go to sleep. Theres not much i can say to explain the immeasurable amount of support, sacrifice, and love you have for me. I cant thank you enough. i love you😘 –@Reidworthington my friend and my bother. You have one of the biggest hearts on the planet, I know it and @crossfitlumberyard knows it. i can fill pages up for what you and the #gym have done for me in these years leading up to this💪🏽 thank you. — To the companies that #believe in me @Virusintl @Xendurance @Gainzbox @Rxsmartgear thank you so much for everything that you do, im super blessed to be building a relationship with you all.– @HyperfitUSA and #TeamHyperfitUSA thank you for helping build me as an #Athlete both mentally and physically through awesome programming, i did the work💥. –and to my athletes from my communities @crossfitfirestone @crossfitchinohills thank for the support and putting up with me as a coach😉— and if you can pass along the message #Momma @dodaroo to the whole #Carroll Clan ; i love you all and its a blessing to see how our family is growing. Thank you☺️ –To the #athletes that injured themselves i hope and wish a #speedy recovery for you… as a competitor you always want the best in the #world to be on the floor with you until the end — Thank you #Crossfitgames for putting on a great #Regional and awesome tests and a big #thanks to all the #Volunteers — I will be sure to continue to work my ass off on the #Roadtothegames. #Madison here we come! — #Crossfit Photo Cred: @d__lam

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Jeff Patzer (California)

First reaction to making the Crossfit Games as an individual is SHOCK. I knew it was a possibility but honestly thought I’d end up in sixth or seventh. I’m extremely surprised and astonished. When you spend hours working out, for years on end, you think it could be a possibility to make the games but it’s never a guaranteed thing. There are so many people to thank for this weekend. The volunteers and organizers put on a fantastic event, thank you all! To all my friends and family that came out to watch and support and cheer, thank you! We could hear that cowbell all weekend😂. Thanks to my brother for making those amazing shirts. I think people already want more of them👍🏽. Thanks to Matt Pedri for continuing to just give us an absurd amount of training volume over the years. You’ve sent a team to the games and now you’ve done it with individuals. That’s incredible. You’re a fantastic coach and friend. Thanks to my wife, Liz for being her amazing self as usual. Carrying my water bottle and providing more than the needed amount of cat videos for comic relief for the amount of nerves being felt. Congratulations to all my fellow athletes from CFD for going out there and crushing expectations. Mariah finished the best for any rookie coming in. And Ryan showed the world he longer has friends just exercising😂. Way to go Kirsten for making the games. We all know how many years in the making that has been. So proud and happy for you. So the next couple of months will be spent working on weaknesses and random objects. But first a bit of vacation! Also for all the new followers… Be prepared for cats, dogs, and other random posts😘 @crossfitgames #crossfit #californiaregional #fortheshire #hobbitsquats

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Wesley Rethwill (California)

Jason Smith (Meridian)

Alec Smith (Atlantic)

My heart is full. So many thanks are due. Madison, here we come!!

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Ryan Elrod (Atlantic)

George Sanchez (West)


Chelsey Hughes (East)

Bethany Branham (South)

Jessica Coughlan (Pacific)

Jessica Griffith (Central)

Jamie Greene (Meridian)

Day made 😆🤙 #DayOneDone #FanGirl @crossfitgames @juliefoucher

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Mekenzie Riley (Atlantic)

Casey Campbell (West)

Umm I think I accidentally qualified for the Crossfit Games?! 😱 Seriously though, what an amazing weekend! I gave my very best and had a lot of fun! Of course, none of this would have been possible without my amazing support crew! First and foremost, thank you @ian_cf7c for being husband of the year and always knowing what I need. Thank you @thecf7ccoach and all the @crossfit7cities family for giving me this incredible opportunity and helping me believe in myself! Thank you to @cjinvictus @tinomarini @krazy_kmart @reganhuckaby and the entire @crossfitinvictus family for taking me under your wing and taking such good care of me! And thank you to @competeeveryday @virusintl @progenex (@mattmarshall4) @ripfix and @wodndone for helping me look good and feel good! @crossfitgames here I come!!

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