CrossFit Regionals Week 1 Sleeper Picks

You’ve heard of the big names competing in this weekend’s set of CrossFit Regionals, but as we all know, there’s always someone who comes seemingly out of nowhere and makes a splash. We’re also interested in eyeing the future of the sport. After all, the current Kings and Queens of CrossFit can’t compete forever, and there are some hungry driven young’uns ready to dethrone the current royalty.

 

A photo posted by Madeline Sturt (@maddiesturt) on

Take Madeline (Maddie) Sturt and Zeke Grove for example. The Aussies qualified in 26th place and 7th place respectively in the Pacific Region, and while the two aren’t well known outside their gyms, they have all the necessary tools to make an impact in the coming years. Both are coached by Darren Coughlan of Give’m Cold Steel who coached Olympic hopeful Pip Malone to the CrossFit Games (twice.)

In a Region dominated by one or two big names, we’re excited to see if these two can live up to their potential. 

As if Sturt and Grove weren’t enough to keep us interested in the Pacific Regional, the 2015 CrossFit Games Silver Medalist Tia-Clair Toomey is out to prove that she isn’t just a one hit wonder. It seems odd to include the 2nd place finisher in roundup of relative unknowns, but it feels like we don’t know her in the same way as we know the usual CrossFit darlings.

Toomey isn’t flashy. She doesn’t update us with daily recaps of her workouts or post about PRs. The only real heavy lifting footage she’s put up “recently” is from IWF Worldsposted 20 weeks ago. We don’t really know what she’s capable of, and damn, that makes it interesting!

Heading north to CaliChelsea Grigsby is on our radar as one of the predicted top finishers of the weekend. Though she’s not super CrossFit famous…yet…Grigsby qualified 1st in SoCal, beating out training buddy Kristine Andali and veteran Lauren Fisher. Like Toomey, Grigsby is quiet on social media, so we don’t quite know what she’s up to. Most notablyGrigsby just graduated from the Los Angeles Fire Department training academy. It’s is an awesome accomplishment in itself, but it also shows us that CrossFit isn’t be all and end all in her life.

Grigsby wasn’t even sure if she’d get to compete this weekend because of her LAFD obligations, but she seems to be taking a “just for funsies” approach. (She’s even donating all the proceeds from her t-shirt sales to the family of her recently passed Drill Sergeant.) We won’t be surprised if that “funsies” mentality combined with first place qualifier adds up to a great—maybe even Games worthy—performance.

We’ll also be closely watching Denmark native Rasmus Wisbech Andersen, who moved to SoCal a few years ago to train with Invictus. Qualifying 2nd in SoCal this year, Andersen seems ready for greatness. After a disappointing 8th place finish in last years’ Regionals, Andersen is out for redemption. He’s got tons of experience on his side, including winning the 2014 CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup with his team. He’s also been blessed with a fantastic head of hair, which as we all know is a big part of being a winner.

A video posted by Sean Sweeney (@sweeney9586) on

In the South, we’re most interested in the Fittest Man In Nevada Sean Sweeney. With all of 872 followers on Instagram, we had to double check that @sweeny9586 was the Sean Sweeney, #1 qualifier in the South West. Sweeney gives us the nostalgic feels of the good ‘ole days when a regular dude who just really likes to work out happened to qualify for Regionals. With a 370lb jerk and the ability to work well through a high heart rate, Sweeney might just surprise us all.

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BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.