The CrossFit offseason continued with the Down Under Championships in Wollongong, Australia, on Nov. 18-21, 2022. Over 400 athletes competed at the three-day event, with many of the top stars in the sport competing across the four elite divisions.
Two-time “Fittest Australian” and five-time Games veteran Jay Crouch ran away with the individual men’s title. Four-time Games athlete Madeline Sturt held off a competitive field to take the women’s championship.
The team divisions saw Noah Ohlsen, Chandler Smith, and Saxon Panchik, team Men at Work, take a five-point win. The LSKD Gold team won the women’s team division. Here’s a recap of those four divisions:
2022 Down Under Championships Results | Elite Men — Team
Perhaps the weekend’s highlight was the battle between the Men at Work team and the Down Underdogs team of Aussies Khan Porter, Ricky Garard, and American Matt Dlugos. The race for the title went down to the final event, with Men at Work leading the Down Underdogs by 10 points.
- Men at Work – 670
- Down Underdogs – 665
- Underway Full Senders – 577
- Superstarr’s – 554
- Batman, Robin & JJ – 544
- Team HSTL Made – 541
- 64 Army Phantom – 518
- Greater West HQ – 492
- CrossFit Frankston – 475
- CrossFit Botany – 449
The Down Underdogs needed to finish three spots ahead of Men at Work to secure a comeback win. They did their part by finishing the workout ahead of the American team. Regional workout 16.7 tasked every athlete to complete 45 thrusters and six rope climbs. They finished second with a time of 8:30, 10 seconds behind the leaders “Batman, Robin, and JJ” from CrossFit CQ, but they didn’t receive help from the other teams. Men at Work placed third with a time of 9:10 to secure the title.
Men at Work had four wins across seven events and placed no worse than fourth. The Down Underdogs had two event wins and also placed no worse than fourth.
On Saturday night, the two teams put on a show for the packed house inside the WIN Entertainment Centre. The teams took on Regional workout 12.5, a snatch ladder that ended with a barbell of 135 kilograms (297 pounds). However, only two athletes successfully lifted that weight: Smith and Garard.
The barbell was loaded to 140 kilograms (309 pounds) to serve as the tie-breaker. Garard missed his two attempts and, in a show of sportsmanship, joined his fellow athletes and the crowd in cheering on Smith, who had little problem with the weight. Smith may have won the bragging rights for lifting the most weight, but Garard’s team took the event victory.
Versions of these two teams will face off again at TYR Wodapalooza. Smith and Ohlsen will team up with Travis Mayer to defend their 2022 title. Dlugos and Garard will team up with Tim Paulson to challenge them.
Underway Full Senders placed third overall thanks to four top-four finishes to end the weekend of competition.
2022 Down Under Championships Results | Elite Women — Team
With the absence of Tia-Clair Toomey’s super team, including PRVN teammate Brooke Wells and fellow Aussie Ellie Turner, the women’s team field was without a standout favorite. Briony Challis, Christee Hollard, and Emily de Rooy, who made up the LSKD Gold team, seemed to disagree.
- LSKD Gold – 680
- Team LMND – 596
- Awaside – 584
- Starr Strength Gals – 577
- Torian Pink – 559
- Starr Strength Pink – 538
- Top End Trouble – 527
- LSK – 508
- Rec Gym Kirrawee – 497
- Bayside – 494
Those outside of Australia may not know these athletes, but they are some of the top team athletes in Oceania. Challis and Hollard competed at the Games this past season with CrossFit EXF and placed 15th. Those two added the up-and-coming de Rooy, who placed seventh at the Torian Pro Semifinal as an individual athlete, to form a super team.
Their collection of talent showed in their event results, finishing in the top three in every event, including four wins en route to an 84-point win over runner-up Team LMND. Awaside placed third overall.
2022 Down Under Championships Results | Elite Men — Individual
Crouch continued to show that he’s one of the top athletes in the men’s division, not just in Oceania. Outside of a seventh-place finish in event five, he recorded only top-three or better finishes, including two event wins. Crouch finished with 648 points, 44 points ahead of Jake Douglas.
- Jay Crouch — 648
- Jake Douglas — 604
- Peter Ellis — 579
- Zeke Grove — 548
- Evan Morris— 510
- Rees Machell — 507
- Clint Kohl — 475
- Harry Debenham — 460
- Isaac Newman — 447
- Kurtis Jackson — 442
Douglas continues to make his name known as a contender in Oceania. This past season he placed fifth at the Torian Pro and competed in the Last Chance Qualifier. The 31-year-old had six top-five finishes, including an event win.
A name to keep an eye out for is 20-year-old Peter Ellis, who placed third. He matched Crouch with two event wins, including the final one of the competition. Games veteran Zeke Grove made his return to competition with a fourth-place finish.
2022 Down Under Championships Results | Elite Women — Individual
The women’s individual competition had a closer race with a deep and talented field. Games veteran Sturt came out on top, holding off Gemma Hauck on the final day to win by 25 points.
- Madeline Sturt — 584
- Gemma Hauck — 559
- Christina Livaditakis — 552
- Grace Walton — 535
- Georgia Pryor— 532
- Lauren Fisher— 531
- Katelin Van Zyl — 525
- Elly Hutchens— 514
- Julia Hannaford — 501
- Marnie Sykes — 500
Sturt held just a five-point lead over Hauck heading into the final day. Both athletes struggled in event six, “Regional 16.6.” Each recorded their worst finishes on the weekend — Sturt placed 10th and Hauck 15th, extending Sturt’s lead. Sturt secured the title with an event win in the finale, her second win of the weekend.
Hauck placed eighth at the Torian Pro Semifinal this past season and moved to Wollongong to train with Garard and Underdogs Athletics in the lead-up to the competition. Christina Livaditakis placed third — seven points behind Hauck, thanks to back-to-back wins in events five and six. The two-time “Fittest in Zimbabwe” and runner-up at this past year’s Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal lives in Australia and competes in the Africa region during the Games season.
Young Australians Grace Walton and Georgia Pryor finished fourth and fifth, respectively, ahead of Games veterans Lauren Fisher and Katelin Van Zyl.
Featured image: @downunderchampionship on Instagram