The past week saw athletes from the Southern Hemisphere and beyond, take the first step into the new look CrossFit competition season with the Australian CrossFit Championship Online Qualifier kicking off 14 November.
In addition to competitors from Australia and New Zealand, athletes from Canada, Iran, USA, South Africa, Barbados, Iceland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Macao, Italy, Samoa and South Korea are competing in the Australian CrossFit Championship Online Qualifier.
Two workouts were released for Week 1 of the qualifier. The first was a couplet of double unders and lightweight power cleans in a 12 minute AMRAP, while the second workout featured two parts – a 30-20-10 pairing of dumbbell deadlifts and burpee box overs followed by a 3RM overhead squat.
The Week 1 workouts were supported by RX Smart Gear Australia who added an RXSG prize pack to the Week 1 prize pool.
Although the movements were straightforward CrossFit, they were certainly a test of fitness with words like ‘spicy’ and ‘brutal’ making a regular appearance in athletes’ online recaps.
In the men’s half three-time CrossFit Games competitor from the US, Jacob Heppner, decided to accept the challenge down under, stepping up against Games athletes from the Pacific including Australia’s James Newbury, Zeke Grove and Dean Linder-Leighton, as well as New Zealand’s Kevin Manuel. Heppner made a serious bid for a place at the Gold Coast event, finishing Week 1 in top place.
In the women’s half, Tia-Clair Toomey is already confirmed as an invited athlete for the Australian CrossFit Championship in January, and another big name was added to the line up with Samantha Briggs confirming that she will be making the trip to the Gold Coast in January.
Competing for a place with these superstars of the sport, includes three times Games athlete, Madeline Sturt and New Zealand’s, Gemma Root who has been to the Games twice with the East Tamaki team but has signed up as an individual for the ACC. Long-time regional favourites Sammy Drescher, Courtney Fitzharris and Lindsay Vaughan are also in contention.
But it was another US athlete making a mark in Week 1, with Hilary Steele taking top spot by finishing top 10 in each of the three scoreable workout components.
Big name affiliate teams such as CrossFit East Tamaki and Injustice Crew stayed within striking distance of the new composite teams including Project X (Harriet Roberts, Brandon Swan, Khan Porter and Jessica Coughlan). Led by Rob Forte, Reebok CrossFit Frankston took advantage of the expanded composite rules adding Gold Coaster, Katelin van Zyl (nee Marks) to the team with Madison Tatt and Jay Crouch.
Project X proved dominant at the end of Week 1 with two ‘firsts’ and a ‘second’ to take first place overall followed by Reebok CrossFit Frankston and Torian Black.
Week 2 of the Online Qualifier is now underway with score submissions closing 28 November 10am AEDT.