GRANITE GAMES, IT'S YOUR TURN!
In comparison to the stacked roster at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge last weekend which featured multiple CrossFit Games athletes, it’s all up for grabs and uncertain who exactly is going to qualify for the 2020 NOBULL CrossFit Games from this weekend's Granite Games. With 5 spaces up for grabs, it is almost certain on both the male and female side that there will be a number of rookies getting their Games tickets stamped for the first time. Team WIT takes you through our ones to watch over the weekend.
At just 18 years old, Team WIT's, Paige Powers is no stranger to mixing with the best. Her gymnastic background and tenacious attitude made for a fierce recipe that saw her take 3rd place in the 2018 and 2019 Games in the 14-15 and 16-17 divisions respectively. In 2020, she competed at SID, the Mayhem Classic and ranked 3rd in the world in the 16-17 division of the CrossFit Open.
Training down at CrossFit Mayhem with the likes of Haley Adams and Rich Froning, Paige is definitely in the right environment to get her ticket stamped to Madison for the first time in the Women's Division. Paige finished 24th in the North American Quarter Finals. Look out for Paige in at Granite Games in the 'So Close Yet So Far' and 'Earn It' events this weekend.
Having already won the CrossFit Games Age Group Online Qualifier and finishing 3rd in the North America quarter finals, 17 year old Mallory O'Brien is an athlete that everyone will be watching every rep of as she looks to qualify for the first time in the female division. O'Brien has been training down in Georgia at Training Think Tank with a number of Game Veterans including Noah Ohlsen and Lauren Fisher so is learning what it takes to get to the main stage.
O'brien finished 2nd in Workout 2 of the Quarter Finals so expect her to finish near the top of 'Back To Back 1 & 2' and get her chance to compete at the NOBULL CrossFit Games.
17 Year Old, Emma Cary came 2nd in this worldwide in this years CrossFit Open, only behind Tia-Clair Toomey Orr and continued her impressive form heading into the quarter finals, finishing 4th in North America. Having already won this CrossFit Games in 2019 in the 14-15 year old category, it was only a matter of time until we saw Emma take the step up to the women's division.
Emma won 21.2 with a blistering time of 8:51 and took 2, top 10 finishes in in workouts 2 and 3 of the online qualifiers. A number of the Granite Games workouts look suited to Emma's extreme strength and ability to go fast and hold on.
After making big changes to his training regime and making the move to CrossFit New England to with the CompTrain Crew including Katrin Davidsdóttir, Sam Kwant and Amanda Barnhart, Chandler Smith seems to be heading into the Granite Games as the one to beat. One of the hottest talents in the sports and one destined to finish on the CrossFit Games Podium at some point in his career, but will it be this year?
The Army Veteran goes into the the Granite Games after taking 11th in the Online Quarter Finals with two Top 10 Finishes. Chandler narrowly missed out on making it to Phase Two of the 2020 CrossFit Games, finishing 6th. A number of the workouts at the Granite Games suit Chandlers ability of go hard and emptying the tank. Look out for Chandler in 'Hang On'.
With brother Scott already punching his ticket last weekend at the MACC, will his brother Saxon make it two Panchik's at the NOBULL CrossFit Games once again. Saxon finished 7th in the North America Quarterfinals and was on last years CrossFit Games Demo team.
Expect Saxon to stand out and set the pace in Minnesota when the events get longer and more taxing. Watch out for him especially in the event 'Earn It'. Can Saxon make it back to the Games after a two year absence, where he finished 9th?
If you watched the 2020 Rogue Invitational, Colten Mertens may be a name you recognise. After picking up 2 out of the 6 event wins at the Rogue Invitational in the online format, beating the world's best male athletes. Mertens then went on to finish 21st in the North America Quarter Finals. Mertens has Games experience already, competing on team with CrossFit Kilo.
Although slightly lesser known and one of the smaller athletes in the field, Mertens is a bodyweight ninja, combined with extreme strength which will have him fighting for that top 5 and his first ticket to the CrossFit Games as an Individual.
Written by Fraser Knox.