Eighteen-year-old Samuel Kwant took 12th place in the North West Region in the 2014 Open and earned a trip to compete in regionals at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington this weekend.
Ten years younger than the average CrossFit Games contender, this up-and-coming athlete said he sees himself as an underdog when competing against his elders.
“I actually like going against people that are older than me,” Kwant said. “It makes me want to beat them that much more.”
Cementing His Place
Kwant is not new to athletics. As a homeschooled high-school athlete, he ran cross-country for Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Washington. When he was 15, he shifted his focus from running to CrossFit and now has ambitions to make it to the CrossFit Games.
The Mount Baker CrossFit athlete boasts a 210-lb. snatch, a 435-lb. deadlift and excels at body-weight movements. He enjoys competing in local competitions and has experienced increasing success.
Stoked for Regionals
As he prepares for regionals, Kwant is training up to four-and-a-half hours a day, spending special time at least once a week to attack his weaknesses. His excitement to compete motivates him daily.
“I’m stoked for regionals and just can’t wait to compete with some of the guys I’ve been watching over the last couple years,” Kwant said. “Just getting to compete with them—and even in the same heat—it’s going to be awesome.”
Ultimately, Kwant hopes to find himself on the CrossFit Games podium alongside two athletes he admires very much: Jason Khalipa and Rich Froning. Kwant said their joyful spirit and humility have influenced him as he has developed as an athlete.
Coach and part owner of Mount Baker CrossFit, Joel Pratt, said Kwant has displayed some of the qualities he admires so much in the two champions. Encouraged and inspired by his parents and coaches, Kwant demonstrates an outstanding work ethic and a tremendous amount of dedication, Pratt said.
“He is not just an outstanding athlete, but he is also an outstanding person,” Pratt said. “The kid is kind, humble, intelligent and all smiles until it’s time to thrown down. Then it’s game on. There is no quit in this kid.”
Keep an Eye on This Guy
Kwant is an athlete to watch in years to come.
“I’m never going to stop doing CrossFit,” he said. “I just want to be as good as I can. I have goals.”
After a successful performance in the 2014 Open, Kwant has shifted his focus to preparing for what he hopes to be some “long hard work” during regional competition. Though he will need to leverage his determined spirit when he takes the floor this weekend, he certainly will be enjoying the ride.