This year’s CrossFit Regionals hopefuls

20 April 2017 by
First published: 19 May 2016

Introducing this year’s CrossFit Regionals hopefuls.

The Reebok CrossFit Games are all about one thing: finding the fittest person earth. They’re the ultimate test of fitness and are world-renowned as being equally gruelling and thrilling. Made up of a broad range of ‘functional movements’, they are designed to push competitors to the absolute limit – to separate the men from the boys, and the women from the girls. What’s really special about the Games is that the athletes never know what challenges they will face until the night before, meaning their training has to be constantly varied in order to prepare for anything that might be thrown at them. In previous years this has meant hammering iron posts into concrete, open water swimming and an off-road triathlon and military obstacle course. The Games are a three-stage journey and the second stage – the Regionals – are just around the corner at the end of May.

So how does it work? The Games season is broken down into three stages. The first stage is the open, and this is a five-week, five-workout competition held in the winter in CrossFit affiliates and gyms around the world. Anyone can sign up at this stage (even those as young as 14) and every year the number of entrants grows. Then, it’s time for the Regionals – the top athletes from each of the 17 regions qualify for this second stage of the competition. Anyone who gets this far is by our standards The Hulk, but for CrossFit, it doesn’t stop there. The season culminates in the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games in California this July and will showcase the world’s fittest 40 men, 40 women, 40 teams, 40 teenagers, and 200 masters.

For our region, the Meridian (comprising Europe, the Middle East and Africa), the Regionals are held from the 27 – 29th May and it’s already set to be a pretty amazing year for us. In the Open, nine of the world’s top 11 scores on a particular workout, Open Workout 16.4, were set by European women.

So who are we going to be looking out for? Here is our pick of the Reebok CrossFit Regionals hopefuls.

Tasia Percevecz
At last year’s East Regional competition, American Tasia placed an impressive 12th overall. Having made significant changes to her diet by working with a nutritionist (before CrossFit, Tasia used to be gymnast and would constantly restrict calories and under-eat), it’s safe to say her game has been suitably upped. Despite changing her intake from 1,700 calories a day to 2,500, she hasn’t gained a single pound but her muscle mass has increased dramatically and she’s started hitting more and more personal bests. And successes at major offseason fitness competitions, such as the East Coast Championships where she placed third, have only seen her gain pace. We’re watching you, girl!

Annie Thorisdottir
Icelandic Annie is the only woman to win the games back-to-back (2011 and 2012), but after a few stumbles in the last three years involving injury and heatstroke, we’re certainly going to be keeping our eyes peeled this time around to see if she can make it back. Why is she so good? With a strong sports background comprising eight years of gymnastics and two years each of ballet and pole vaulting, her strengths are many and varied which makes her the ideal CrossFit candidate.

Madison Walker
She’s 15 years old but could beat us in an arm wrestle any day. Finishing 36th worldwide in the 2015 Open, the former gymnast from Utah came just 16 positions away from qualifying for the Games. Now, a year older and evidently a lot stronger, this girl is on a mission. She’s added 30lb to her snatch (now 110lb) and clean and jerk (now 150lb), so is looking stronger than ever. Not bad for a 15-year-old!

Emma McQuaid
At the 2014 CrossFit Games, Emma from Northern Ireland was completely unknown, finishing outside of the top 6,000. But, a year later, something incredible happened and she shot to the top of the leaderboard, taking an incredible 6th place in the European Open. Such a dramatic improvement demonstrates huge talent and determination which has caught the eye of many. After her 2015 performance, experts quickly began predicting big things for her and they were not wrong. This year she’s already impressed, and is currently sitting at 12th place overall ahead of the regionals. You go girl!

Sarah Scholl
Having consistently made it to the Regionals year after year for six years straight, but failing to make the jump to the Games, Sarah, from Washington, USA, is a woman on a mission this time around. Currently placed 15th worldwide, she’s tied with 2015 Games champ Katrin Davíðsdóttir for first place in the North East, so things are certainly headed in the right direction. So what has she got this year that’s going to take her that little bit further? Being healthy, she says, is her main advantage over previous years. Last year she herniated a disc during the CrossFit Open and despite trying to rally for Regionals, unfortunately then tore the sagittal band off her knuckle. But Sarah has recognised her weaknesses in Olympic lifts and gymnastics and has therefore been working hard with her coach in building strength and fine tuning the way she moves. We’re behind you Sarah!