The CrossFit Games Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOC) kicks off this Thursday, March 12.
The top 200 athletes from each age group—including teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 and masters athletes over the age of 35—will have until March 16 to complete and submit scores from various workouts that are yet to be released. The top 10 athletes from each division will earn spots to this summer’s CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin.
Though there are many talented teens, let’s take a look at four teenagers from the 16-17 year-old division, who we’re expecting to deliver big performances this week.
The American Magda tied for first place in the Boys 16-17 year-old division in the 2020 CrossFit Open with New Zealand athlete Jack Laker.
Magda already has an impressive competition resume and has proven he shows up when it counts. He won the 2018 CrossFit Games in the boys 14-15 year-old division and placed third last summer as a 16-year-old.
He’s our prediction to take down the AGOQ, a competition he says is mostly about how well you recover.
“I’m approaching the online qualifier like a four-day competition—Thursday through Sunday with a potential event redo on Monday….Hitting each of the six events with maximal intensity is much more draining than a normal weekend of training so I have to be more conscious about my warm-ups and cooldowns, as well as my central nervous system recovery,” said the 17-year-old Magda.
Though winning would be a bonus, the AGOC is just another step in a larger goal for Magda.
“Doing well in the age group online qualifier isn’t my end goal this season. My performance at the Games is. (So) as long as I learn areas that need work in my training and find motivators for the rest of my season, that’s a win for me,” said Magda, who is hoping to see high-level gymnastics movements this weekend, such as deficit handstand push-ups, as well as heavy barbells.
Regardless of what comes up, Magda is a favorite, not just to qualify to the Games this summer, but to win the whole thing—his ultimate goal.
“I would really love to end my teenage competition career on a high note and put my name on the map as I make the transfer over to the individual division (next year),” he said.
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WZA 2020 🌊🌴🥇🌴🌊 The CrossFit community never ceases to amaze me, and WOW was it electric on the competition floor! Thank you, Miami, for helping me have fun doing what I love, while also learning, growing, and getting hungrier. Thank you to the AMAZING girls I competed with: kind, hilarious, fun, strong, brave, tough, smart, beautiful. You make me proud to be “the future of the sport”. I love you all! (& the guys, thank you for all the laughs!) Thank you to the best parents in the world for chasing my dreams with me. Even when those dreams are in another state :) Thank you to the entire @brute.strength team for getting me the fittest I’ve ever been. Thank you @thenickfowler for introducing me to @coachmatttorres, and thank you, Matt, for pushing me every day to prepare me well. Thank you @domenictdagostino for the warm-ups and advice! Thank you for pouring time and energy into making me better. I am endlessly grateful for you guys. Thank you @mike_m2pn and @m2performancenutrition for keeping me well fueled this weekend and ALWAYS. Thank you for the amazing gear and advice/friendship/venting. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you! Thank you to the judges and volunteers for making @wodapalooza a weekend that I will never forget. Thank you @junkbrands for the headbands and socks. I will always wear them proudly. Finally, the biggest thank you of all, to God for the victory both on and off the competition floor: For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4 It wasn’t perfect, but it was a BLAST & it is just the beginning. Excited for what’s next! THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Emma Cary is the reigning 14-15 year-old CrossFit Games champion, who despite still being 15, has already proven she can compete with the 16 and 17 year-olds this summer. She placed second behind Olivia Sulek in the 16-17 year-old division in the 2020 CrossFit Open and recently won the prestigious Wodapalooza competition in Miami, Florida in her age division.
Cary is clearly on the rise and she’s our prediction for who will take down the AGOC this weekend. She has the confidence to back it up.
“I am the fittest that I have ever been, so I am looking forward to everything,” Cary said. “I always love the gross workouts, so the nastier the better.”
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Two things that are hard to believe: ✨ This amazing moment was one week ago today. ✨ I have worked with @m2performancenutrition for almost a year! This has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and helped me in all aspects. @mike_m2pn: I am SO grateful for you! Thank you for helping me to eat (a lot!) to perform and have a great relationship with food! Thank you for always being encouraging, patient, kind, and knowledgeable, and helping me to keep things in perspective. Thank you for helping me understand that competition eating looks a LOT different than a normal day. Thank you for dealing with my “hi I trained like 2 hours more than usual” and my “hello I’m rowing a marathon tomorrow” texts by giving me extra carbs 🤣 Finally, thank you for helping me understand that I’m not getting strong, I’m getting stronger. About a year ago, I expected to get some macro goals. You have selflessly given me SO much more. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. 💙 THANK YOU 💙 #M2PerformanceNutrition #M2PN #EatLikeAnAthlete #SleepLikeAnAthlete #BringTheCarbs 📸 @karlykreative
She added: “In the past (the AGOQ) hasn’t been my best (competition), but I would love to get to prove to myself how much stronger I have gotten. I am excited to show my mental and physical improvements, and I truly feel ready for anything.”
Cary admits she gets nervous and experiences doubts, but has developed tools to help her through the apprehension.
“I remember what I want, why I want it, and what I need to do to achieve it. Though I (get) nervous, I understand that nerves help my body and mind get ready and do what they need to do,” she said.
She added: “I want to win the (AGOQ) and I want to win the CrossFit Games.”
Powers is another American to keep your eyes on. The 17-year-old has stood on the CrossFit Games podium twice already. In 2018, she placed third in the 14-15 year-old division, and was third again last summer in the 16-17 year-old division. One again, in the recent Open competition, Powers wound up third again, being Sulek and Cary.
It’s no surprise that Powers is hungry for more. Starting this weekend.
“My approach heading into the ACOQ is to attack every workout at 110 percent effort and not to hold anything back,” she said.
That being said, she is doing her best not to focus on the leaderboard.
“My ultimate goal is to do my personal best and to maximize my performance by controlling the controllables—diet and training—and not worry too much about the uncontrollables,” she said.
This means, she isn’t concerned about what might show up in each of the workouts.
“That’s the beauty of CrossFit. You never know what is going to be thrown at you, but you have to be fit enough to thrive no matter what,” she said.
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In 2019, Canadian Anikha Greer missed qualifying to the CrossFit Games by just five spots when she placed 15th during the AGOQ. What’s remarkable is how close she came last year despite having suffered a torn UCL, which made her elbow unusable for close to four months. The year before, in 2018, Greer missed out on Games qualification by just one point.
“Both years, it has been heartbreaking, but because of it I learned so much and I trust believe it all happened for a reason,” said Greer, now 16.
In fact, it has only made her hungrier to work harder. And it looks like it’s paying off.
Greer placed 8th overall in the 2020 CrossFit Open, her best Open performance yet. If she repeats that placing during the AGOQ, she will finally punch her ticket.
Coming so close twice has also made her more resilient, she explained.
“In the past, I have been terrified going into the AGOQ. I’d be stressed about the workouts and had little to no confidence or belief in myself,” Greer said.
She doesn’t feel this way anymore.
“This year, it’s the complete opposite…I’m still nervous, but not scared,” she said. “Growing up, I was always an athlete, but never had anything resembling work ethic, and I ran away at the first sign of adversity. So I fell in love with CrossFIt and decided I wanted to make it my life. I had to work extremely hard to build work ethic and mental toughness. Nothing came easily to me.”
She added: “So qualifying for the Games (would) prove to me that I’m capable of anything I set my mind to. I love this sport more than anything in the whole world, and want to be the best more than anything.”
Featured image: @emmacaryy, photo by @karlykreative