With the 2015 CrossFit Regional events kicking off this week, The Rx Review is taking a look at some of the big names who are going team in 2015 as well as some of the powerhouse teams to look out for this year.
More than 150 athletes worldwide declined individual invitations to their regional event and have opted to compete as part of a team instead. The most anticipated move of course comes from the "Fittest Man on Earth" since 2011, Rich Froning Jr. After claiming his fourth CrossFit Games victory in 2014, Froning announced that he would be shifting his focus to team competition in 2015.
Froning is not the only big name making a change this year. Many people were surprised by Jason Khalipa’s announcement that he was also going team for 2015. Some expected that the seven time individual CrossFit Games competitor would see Froning’s departure as a chance to take the top spot on the podium, but that wasn’t the case.
Khalipa finished the 2015 Open in first place in Northern California and fourth in the world, contributing to his team - NorCal CrossFit’s - dominant performance in the Open. An impressive five NorCal CrossFit team members qualified for the California Regional as individuals (Khalipa, Molly Vollmer, Jen Zambruno, Nick Zambruno and Miranda Oldroyd). Having won the Open with a 36 point lead over the second placed team, NorCal CrossFit will be hard to beat.
Games veteran, James Hobart qualified for the Central Regional after finishing fifth in Central East, however, he will be joining Froning on the floor as part of the CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team. Finishing the Open in fourth place worldwide, you can expect to see Mayhem on the Central podium and Froning and Hobart returning to the Games as part of the team.
2014 Games’ competitors Albert-Dominic Larouche and Tommy Hackenbruck have also turned down individual tickets in favour of the team competition. Finishing in equal first in his region and 24th place worldwide, Larouche was part of Canada East’s CrossFit Adm team this year during the Open. Hackenbruck will join 2014 female Games’ competitor, Mandi Janowitz, and two other individual qualifiers (Brennan Ford and Jacob Hutton) on the roster for the Ute CrossFit team.
Another 2014 Games’ competitor who qualified as an individual but will make the change to team this year is Rachel Martinez. Martinez finished 28th at the Games last year as an individual but will be vying to get back there as part of the CrossFit New England team this year.
Both first and second place female finishers from the Africa Region, Jamie Greene and Tamarind Robinson have selected to go team at the Meridian Regional. They will join Elliot Simmonds and Sabine Whitfield, who finished 10th place in the male and female divisions respectively, as part of the CrossFit Yas team.
The number of individual qualifiers on a team is certainly not the only way to pick a winning team. Coming out of the Open, the second placed team worldwide, FITERNITY of Superhero CrossFit has just one regional qualifier, Tiffany Szemplinski. The team does not lack for impressive results, however, with five members finishing the Open ranked 52nd or higher in their region.
About the Author:
Rebecca is a freelance writer who loves politics, film and CrossFit. She is a contributing writer for the CrossFit Games website and was part of the writing team at the 2013 Australia Regional. Rebecca was a competitive surf life saver and dancer before finding CrossFit in 2011. She struggles to shake her dance background at training and thinks you should get extra marks for style and keeping your toes pointed as much as possible.