2023 TYR Wodapalooza Team Event Preview: “Start Fast, Finish Faster”

Handstand push-ups, pistol squats, and pull-ups — oh my!

Team event “Start Fast, Finish Faster,” taking place at the 2023 TYR Wadapalooza (WZA) competition from Jan. 13-15, 2023, at Bayfront Park in Miami, FL., was released on Jan. 9, 2023. It is a relay-style event consisting of two rounds that will test the athletes’ work capacity in a tight 13 minutes.

2023 TYR Wodapalooza Team Event — “Start Fast, Finish Faster”

Complete for Time, in a relay style:

Round One:

Round Two: 

  • Athlete One: 42 Handstand Push-Ups / 420-foot shuttle run
  • Athlete Two: 42 Pistols / 420-foot shuttle run
  • Athlete Legacy: 42 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups / 420-foot shuttle run

Time Cap: 13 minutes

When a team workout consists of an individual nature like this, usually the fittest people, not necessarily the fittest team, have the advantage. In this case, the row and run are so short that they are largely negligible. The gymnastics will carry the day — range of motion and fast-twitch muscle fibers are critical. 

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Pick to Win | Male Team — The Boys: Noah Ohlsen, Travis Mayer, Chandler Smith

This team was built for this workout. It’s almost a guarantee that Smith will do handstands push-ups, Ohlsen will do pistols, and Mayer will do chest-to-bar pull-ups. They all have ample fitness for the row and the run. Combine that with the gymnastics, and The Boys will be near impossible to keep up with. 

Pick to Win | Female Teams — GOWOD Girls: Jacqueline Dahlstrøm, Sola Sigurdardottir, Emma McQuaid

This team might escape your eye, but three European Games women on one team are not something to take lightly. Dahlstrøm and McQuaid are elite with bodyweight gymnastics, and Sigurdardottir has enough gymnastics capacity to hold steady on her leg of the relay. They should be in contention to win this event or at least score their best finish in the competition. 

Dark Horse | Male Teams — Team 247: Lalo Torres, Nick Thomas, Mitch Wagner

This sneaky team came through the qualifier in third place. None of these athletes are over five foot eight, which will work to their advantage in this event. The row isn’t long enough to matter, and these guys are powerful enough to muscle through 240 meters within a couple of seconds of the bigger opposition. Their advantage in gymnastics could move them to a top-10 or better finish.

Dark Horse | Female Teams — MisFits with Lady Bits: Paige Semenza, Caroline Conners, Erin O’Donnell (Vandendriessche) 

Another team with three previous Games athletes, Semenza and Conners multiple times, O’Donnell back in 2020. Conners will establish a lead over the entire field on the handstand push-ups. Semenza has sneaky-strong upper body pulling strength — she had a top-10 finish on the “Up and Over” event at the Games — and is good in shorter-time efforts. She scored a top 10 on “Hat Trick” at the 2022 CrossFit Games — a work-to-rest style event similar to this. MisFits with Lady Bits is as strong a recipe as any under-the-radar team to have a stand-out performance.

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Damage Control | Male Team — Canadian PB&J: Pat Vellner, Brent Fikowski, Jeff Adler

Note: “Damage control” picks in this context are podium-contending teams who need to mitigate losing too many points in this event.

Adler can fill in anywhere in this event and be fine. Vellner and Fikowski have some of the longest wingspans in CrossFit. Volume is not the issue; this team will take longer to perform their chest-to-bar pull-ups and handstand push-ups than most other teams.

Fikowski, in particular, was left with no chance to make the top 10 of the 2019 Games workout “Mary” due to the selection and timing — which involved these exact three movements. He was 28th out of 30 remaining men in that event. In a workout like”Start Fast, Finish Faster,” where there isn’t an opportunity to offset that disadvantage on a long row or run, Canadian PB&J will likely pay for it on the leaderboard. 

Damage Control | Female Team — P10 Performance: Andrea Nisler, Taylor Williamson, Sydney Michalyshen

A similar team from a size perspective as Team PB&J, Nisler is the smallest of the three and will likely be the most valuable asset in this workout. Michalyshen is extremely fit and has gotten even fitter since the 2022 Games, but on the same workouts Semenza excelled at, Michalyshen did not. Michalyshen finished 20th in “Up and Over” and 23rd in “Hat Trick.”

This event will be the most challenging for Williamson, who stands five feet, nine inches tall. Her size and strength will be favorable in some areas, but she will likely give ground to the entire field regardless of which leg of the relay she’s in.

Featured image: @jacdah on Instagram