This weekend, the first three CrossFit Regionals competitions will kick off the next part of the Games qualification process. This is an awesome time of year — three straight weekends of wall-to-wall, top tier CrossFit competition, and all of it is streamed for free on the CrossFit Games site! For a CF junkie like me, this is like Christmas season all over again.
I’ll give you fine people a quick primer on what the Regionals competitions are, when and how to watch, and who I think will advance from each region. Read on!
What is Regionals? How does it work?
Remember that Open thing we did back in February? For some people, that was the first stage in qualifying for the Games. The top ~20 men and women from each region are invited to Regionals — a three day, in-person competition to fight for a spot at the Games. In most Regional competitions, the top 5 finishers for men and women punch their ticket to Madison for the CrossFit Games. The programming is incredibly tough, and it often comes down to fractions of a second, and just a handful of points, to decide those qualifying spots. This year there are six events in the competition.
The athletes who make it to this level of competition are all insanely fit, cyborg robots who train year round to make it here.
When are they, and how do I watch?
Every single heat of competition is streamed live at http://www.games.crossfit.com, for free! The events basically run all day Friday through Sunday, roughly 9am-5pm. They haven’t released heat times yet, but those should be up soon.
Week 1: May 18-20, 2018
East Regional: Albany, New York, Times Union Center
Europe Regional: Berlin, Germany, Velodrom
South Regional: Salt Lake City, Utah, Salt Palace Convention Center
Week 2: May 25-27, 2018
Central Regional: Nashville, Tennessee, Music City Center
West Regional: Del Mar, California, Del Mar Arena
Latin America Regional: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Arena Carioca 1
Week 3: June 1-3, 2018
Atlantic Regional: West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County Convention Center
Meridian Regional: Madrid, Spain, Caja Mágica
Pacific Regional: Sydney, Australia, Qudos Bank Arena
What are the workouts?
All the Regional competitions use the same workouts as one another. They are not for the faint of heart! You can find all the workouts here:
My Week 1 Predictions & Stories to Watch
East Regional (Top 5 advance):
1) Pat Vellner
2) Alex Vigneault
3) Tim Paulson
4) Jean-Simon Roy-Lemaire
5) Austin Spencer
Ones to watch: I would love to see Cody Mooney (personal favorite of mine) make it back to the Games, but he had shoulder surgery in the off season and barely made regionals this year. I think he’ll be back and crushing it in 2019, but I don’t see him making it this year. James Hobart is a wily veteran with incredible experience, including many Games trips as an individual and several championships on Mayhem’s team. He surprised a lot of people by accepting the invitation after opting to be on the Games commentary team last year, but he could be a dark horse to qualify again. Austin Spencer missed the games by about 1/4 of a second last year, but is back and even stronger this year. I think he makes it to Madison, but it’ll be a fight!
1) Katrin Davidsdottir
2) Kari Pierce
3) Carol-Ann Reason-Thibeau
4) Carolyne Prevost
5) Caroline Connors
Strangely it seems like all these ladies have a variation on the same name, almost. Weird coincidence.
Ones to watch: Kristine Best is coming in to her fourth regionals. After an awesome Open, this might be the year she breaks the top 5. I think the 4th and 5th spots are fairly open, but 1-3 should be some variation of those three athletes. Caroline Connors might be one more year out from making it to the games, but she’s another favorite of mine so I squeaked her in the 5 spot.
South Regional (Top 5 advance):
1) Logan Collins
2) Rogelio Gamboa
3) Jared Enderton
4) Sean Sweeney
5) Brandon Luckett
Ones to watch: Excited to see Sean Sweeney get another crack at it this year after one terrible judging fiasco on the ring dips last year cost him a trip to Madison. I’m confident Jared Enderton (who is coming to Sabertooth in October for an Olympic lifting seminar!) will advance for the first time as well. I think Tommy Vinas gets bumped out this year — I don’t think the workouts play to his strengths all that well, except for “Linda.”
1) Tennil Reed Beuerlin
2) Alexis Johnson
3) Camille Leblanc Bazinet
4) Bethany Shadburne
5) Amanda Goodman
Ones to watch: After a couple years off, Amanda Goodman is back in the mix. She is a total beast — I think she’s going to knock people’s socks off in the “Linda” lifting event. Camille is coming off shoulder surgery and had a great Open, but I don’t think she wins Regionals this year — Tennil is just too strong!
Europe Regional (Top 5 advance):
2) Andrey Ganin
3) Fredrick Aegidius
4) Arian Mundweiler
5) Marcin Szybaj
Ones to watch: I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of new faces in this male Europe Regional competition that I haven’t gotten to watch before. They expanded to two Regional competitions in Europe this year as the sport continues to grow like crazy. I’m excited to learn more about these athletes! There will be some Games rookies coming out of this regional, which is always fun to see.
1) Annie Thorisdottir
2) Kristen Holte
3) Sara Sigmundsdottir
4) Emma McQuaid
5) Laura Horvath
Ones to watch: Laura Horvath made a name for herself at this year’s Dubai Fitness championship, beating out loads of talented Games athletes for a podium spot. She could be a dark horse for a top 3 finish.
That’s it for week 1! Disagree with my predictions? Let’s hear it!