April 29, 2022
Top Performances in CrossFit's 2022 Occupational Games
By Kelley Laxton, with Daisy Lennox and Melissa Yinger
The top 10% in select occupations competed in the Occupational Games. Here are the leaders.
The top 10% in select occupations competed in the Occupational Games. Here are the leaders.

The Occupational Games competition offers athletes within specific professions an opportunity to continue their season by competing in a series of workouts to showcase their fitness. From teachers to law-enforcement officers, these athletes prove that what happens inside the CrossFit box transfers to success in their day jobs.

The second annual CrossFit Occupational Games took place April 21-24. More than 80,000 athletes threw their hat in the ring for the Occupational Games in the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Open. After the Open, the top 10% from each occupation received an invitation to compete.

This year’s Occupational Games included athletes in the following professions:

  • Active-duty military

  • Military veterans 

  • Law-enforcement officers

  • Firefighters

  • First responders (e.g., paramedics, emergency medical technicians)

  • Medical professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses)  

  • Educators (e.g., professors, schoolteachers, tutors, school administrators)

  • College students

Here’s a look at the top three fittest athletes in each occupation.*

*Results are unofficial and based on current leaderboard standings. All current standings are subject to change during the final review process. 

The Workouts

Workout 1

3 rounds for time of:
20 toes-to-bars
20 alternating dumbbell snatches

Time cap: 10 minutes

Workout 2

For time:
50 overhead squats
40 bar-facing burpees
40 back-rack walking lunges 
30 bar-facing burpees
30 cleans 
20 bar-facing burpees
20 single-leg squats
10 muscle-ups

Time cap: 20 minutes

Workout 3

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
1 rope climb
2 shuttle runs
2 rope climbs
4 shuttle runs
3 rope climbs
6 shuttle runs
4 rope climbs
8 shuttle runs
Etc.

15-ft rope climbs, 50-ft shuttle runs

Workout 4

For total load: 
1 back squat
1 press
1 deadlift

Time cap: 30 minutes

Workout 5

3 rounds for time of:
50-calorie row
15 handstand push-ups
50 double-unders

Time cap: 20 minutes

Active-Duty Military

Men

  1. Jaylond Franklin

  2. Tony Kurz

  3. Molonza Hayes

Jaylond Franklin is a soldier in the U.S. Army. He competed in his first CrossFit Open in 2020 and has been climbing the leaderboard ever since. Impressively, Franklin competed in the Individual and Team Quarterfinals as well as the Occupational Games this year. His team, CrossFit Shoofly Storm Squadron, finished the weekend in 15th and will be advancing to Semifinals. 

Sitting in second place is 43-year-old Tony Kurz. Along with serving his country in the U.S. Army, Kurz is a father and two-time Games athlete in the Masters Men 40-44 Division (2019 and 2021). He took fourth in the Age-Group Quarterfinal this year and has won three consecutive Wodapalooza events in his division. 

Rounding out the top three is U.S. Army soldier Molonza Hayes, also of Shoofly CrossFit. Hayes took second in Workout 1’s couplet with a time of 4:33 and the CrossFit Total with a sum of 1,295 lb. Hayes competed in his first Open in 2019 and qualified for the Individual Quarterfinal in 2021 and 2022, ending this season in 255th in North America. 

Tony Kurz at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games | Photo by Duke Loren
Tony Kurz at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games | Photo by Duke Loren

Women

  1. Ellia Miller

  2. Charlotte Spence

  3. Danielle Abusow

2021’s Fittest Woman in Active-Duty Military has defended her crown. Ellia Miller is a captain in the Army National Guard as a logistics officer. She is currently preparing to take command of a forward support company in the Kansas Army National Guard in July. She has a masters degree from Princeton in neuroscience. 

U.K. Army soldier Charlotte Spence had an extremely successful season last year. Qualifying for both the Individual and Team Quarterfinals, her team — The Athlete Program — made its way to the finals, finishing in 26th place at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Spence participated in her first Age-Group Quarterfinal in the Masters Women 35-39 Division and first Occupational Games this year. She finished in the top 20 at the AGQ and second at the Occupational Games. 

Third-place finisher Danielle Abusow is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. A former varsity lightweight rower, Abusow qualified for the Individual Quarterfinal in 2021 and 2022 and competed in her first Occupational Games this year. She took second in Workouts 1 and 5, finishing in 4:29 and 11:55, respectively. 

College Student

Men

  1. Lago Guiraldes

  2. Tyler Marsh

  3. William Trounson

On the men’s side, the Fittest College Student on Earth is a 24-year-old from Argentina named Lago Guiraldes. Guiraldes is a member of CrossFit Villa Luro and was an athlete on third-place team CrossFit Villa Luro at the 2021 Brazil CrossFit Championship. This year, Guiraldes competed in the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal, finishing just two spots shy of a Semifinals-qualifying position. 

Sitting in second place is a 24-year-old from Canada who qualified for the Individual Quarterfinal in 2021 and 2022. Tyler Marsh trains at CrossFit NCR in Ottawa, Ontario.

William Tronson in third place is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) at the University of Wollongong in Australia. Following the trend, he is also a 24-year-old who competed in the 2021 and 2022 Individual Quarterfinals. 

Women

  1. Megan Greenan

  2. Katherine Evans

  3. Aurora Vellante

Megan Greenan, the Fittest College Student on Earth on the women’s side, is a former member of the U.S. Navy and currently a Navy scout. Training at CrossFit Lifted in Ontario, California, the college student finished every workout within the top 10, with her best finish in Workout 4, where she lifted a total of 818 lb, good for second place. 

Twenty-three-year-old Katherine Evans from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, qualified for the Individual Quarterfinal this year in addition to the Occupational Games. She had a great start to the Occupational Games competition, finishing the first three workouts in second place. 

Sitting in third place is Aurora Vellante, a recent graduate from the University of Florida. While working as an exercise physiologist and visiting lecturer in sport and movement science at Salem State University, she was also pursuing advanced academic studies in the College of Health & Human Performance at the University of Florida. Vellante won three of the five Occupational Games workouts: Workouts 1, 2, and 5. 

Educator

Men

  1. Will Carter

  2. James Lewis

  3. Brandon Nolin

Will Carter of CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy has long been a strong competitor in the team competition. He participated in the 2017 East Regional with Westchester’s Finest and took sixth place with the MoveFastLiftHeavy Crew in the Team Quarterfinal last year before earning second place with the team at the Granite Games. This year, he’s making a mark as an individual competitor. Last year, he took 86th in North America in the Individual Quarterfinal, and this year he became the Fittest Educator on Earth.

Following close behind is James Lewis, the head performance analyst for the Houston SaberCats rugby team. He made his Games debut at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games on team Man Made CrossFit, finishing the season in 34th. This year, he decided to pursue the individual division and finished the Individual Quarterfinal in 137th, just outside the cutline for a Semifinals invite. 

Physical-education teacher and middle-school football coach Brandon Nolin rounds out the top three. Nolin is a 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games athlete in the Men 35-39 Division, where he finished in 14th place. This year, he competed in the Age-Group Quarterfinal and took 92nd in his division. 

Brandon Nolin at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games | Photo by Duke Loren
Brandon Nolin at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games | Photo by Duke Loren

Women

  1. Jodi Pietrzyk

  2. Maria Mehlum

  3. Tanya Labell

First-place finisher Jodi Pietrzyk ended the weekend strong with an event win in Workout 5, where she logged a time of 12:08. Alongside her full-time job, Pietrzyk also was a competitor at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Regional.

Norway’s Maria Mehlum is a teacher at Oslo Handelsgymnasium, a public school that specializes in teaching financial and business management. She previously competed on Team CrossFit Oslo at the 2017 Meridian Regional. 

Sitting in the final podium position is Tanya Labell, a health and physical-education teacher at West Morris Central High School in Stanhope, New Jersey. She competed on Team CrossFit Roseland at the 2018 East Regional and Team Fitness Like a Pro at the 2021 CrossFit West Coast Classic Semifinal, where the team finished in 20th. This year, Labell ranked 74th in the world in the Women 35-39 Division in the 2022 CrossFit Open. She went on to take 69th in the Age-Group Quarterfinal along with third in the Occupational Games. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tanya Marie (@tanya_labell)

Firefighter

Men

  1. Angelo DiCicco

  2. Kyle Cant

  3. Sergio Briceno

The Fittest Firefighter on Earth is a member of the Cookeville Fire Department and trains with the best at CrossFit Mayhem. At only 22 years old, Angelo DiCicco is a three-time Games athlete. DiCicco qualified for the 2021 Semifinals after being diagnosed with degenerative back disease in 2018, competed at Wodapalooza with Rich Froning and Luke Parker on Team Mayhem in Paradise in 2022, and qualified for the 2022 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge with CrossFit Mayhem Independence.

Six-time Regional athlete Kyle Cant is the second-Fittest Firefighter on Earth. The Canadian is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and a member of CrossFit All Level in Windsor, Ontario. 

Third-place finisher Sergio Briceno is a firefighter at the Pelham-Batesville Fire Department in South Carolina. He recently graduated from the State Fire Academy in September of 2021. This year, Briceno qualified for the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal, finishing in 148th in North America. 

Women

  1. Sarah Viets

  2. Katie Sondag

  3. Maryam Zanbagh

On the women’s side, the title of Fittest Firefighter on Earth is awarded to Sarah Viets, a firefighter at the Henderson Fire Department in Nevada. She is a three-time Regional athlete and Fittest in Nevada in 2019 and 2020. Viets trains at Sin City CrossFit. 

Second-place finisher Katie Sondag is a firefighter for the Oklahoma City Fire Department. She tied Viets for first in Workout 1 with a time of 4:31. Sondag competed on Team Koda CrossFit in 2017, 2018, and 2021. The team finished its 2021 season in 10th at the Granite Games Semifinal. 

The world’s third-fittest firefighter hails from Iran and is named Maryam Zanbagh. Zanbagh took third place in Workouts 1 and 5, finished the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal in 26th place in Asia, and has been invited to advance to the CrossFit Games Semifinals. She was the national champion of Iran in 2016 and 2021.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah Viets (@sarah_viets)

First Responder

Men

  1. Angelo DiCicco

  2. Jordan Chenier

  3. Randy Santana

DiCicco excelled in both the firefighter and first-responder divisions. In the first-responder division, DiCicco took first in Workout 1 with a time of 4:10 and second in Workouts 2, 3, and 5. 

Canadian Jordan Chenier is a paramedic in Dufferin County, Ontario. Qualifying for the Individual Quarterfinal this year, he finished in 338th in North America. Chenier’s best finish during the Occupational Games was in Workout 5, when he logged a score of 9:01, good for first place in the division. 

Randy Santana, who finished in third in the first-responder division, is a firefighter and paramedic at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. Training at IMT CrossFit, Santana finished Workout 4 in second place, lifting a total of 1,283 lb. 

Angelo DiCicco during Run Swim Run at the 2017 Games
Angelo DiCicco during Run Swim Run at the 2017 Games

Women

  1. Lauren Crocetti

  2. Chelsea Lyons

  3. Kerry Crivello

Lauren Crocetti has been a Frederick County career firefighter in Maryland for the past three years. Along with participating in the Occupational Games, she qualified for the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal. Crocetti’s best finish over the weekend was in Workout 2, when she finished in first place among first responders with a time of 13:31. 

Two-time Regional athlete on Team Union Fitness and Minneapolis Fire Department firefighter Chelsea Lyons is the second-fittest first responder. She took first in Workout 3, logging a score of 64 reps. 

Kerry Crivello joined the Los Angeles Fire Department in 2017 and works as a firefighter and paramedic. She competed at the 2021 CrossFit Atlas Games Semifinal on Team West LA Athletics, finishing the season in 15th. Crivello had a strong start to the 2022 Occupational Games, finishing Workout 1 in third and Workouts 2 and 3 in second place on the leaderboard. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Chelsea Lyons (@c.lyons22)

Law Enforcement

Men

  1. James St Leger

  2. Justin Dewing

  3. Ryon Anderson

The Fittest Law-Enforcement Officer on Earth comes from the U.K. James St Leger is an authorized firearms officer and part of a special unit that tracks down violent criminals, handles hostage situations, and deals with breaches. Outside his day job, Leger is 2019’s fifth-fittest man in the U.K. and a 2018 Europe Regional athlete. He also coaches athletes through The Athlete Program. 

Coming in second is Justin Dewing, a police officer in Arlington, Texas. Dewing was originally drawn to becoming a firefighter after graduating from the University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville but became interested in the excitement of police work. He is a 2014 North Central Regional athlete and qualified for the Individual Quarterfinal in 2021 and 2022. 

State trooper Ryon Anderson finished the 2022 Occupational Games in third place. Last year, he finished the 2021 Age-Group Online Qualifier in 55th in the Men 35-39 Division. This year, he is competing in the 40-44 age group and ended the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal in ninth. 

Women

  1. Shaylin Laure

  2. Nicole Heer

  3. Abby Ashton

Shaylin Laure, the winner in the law-enforcement and military-veteran divisions, is a “full-time FBI agent, part-time CrossFitter,” according to her athlete profile. She was the Fittest Law-Enforcement Officer in last year’s inaugural Occupational Games and competed at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Semifinal, where she took 26th. She trains at CrossFit Shoofly in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, and represented the affiliate this year in the Team Quarterfinal. She is 29.

Second-place finisher Nicole Heer is a Swiss police officer and member of CrossFit Pilatus Sursee in Knutwil, Switzerland. She competed at the 2021 CrossFit German Throwdown Semifinal, where she finished in 21st. This year, she also competed in the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal, ending her season in 48th and as the second-Fittest Law-Enforcement Officer on Earth. 

Australia’s Abby Ashton is a police officer at New South Wales Police Force. She competed at the 2021 Torian Pro Semifinal, finishing her season in 21st. This year, Ashton was just eight spots outside of a Semifinals spot in the Individual Quarterfinal. At the Occupational Games, she never dropped below fifth place in any workout. She took first in Workout 3. 

Medical Professional

Men

  1. James Stetson

  2. Michael Macaluso

  3. Ryan Alec Chavez

James Stetson — the Fittest Medical Professional on Earth — is a chiropractor at Physio Room in Littleton, Colorado. Stetson is also a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer at CrossFit Broadway. He was part of the 2021 CrossFit Games team BackCountry CrossFit and was a member of the 2016 Regionals team On Track. 

Twenty-three-year-old Michael Macaluso finished the Occupational Games in second in the medical professionals division. He is a nurse and member of CrossFit MF in Portland, Maine. Macaluso’s best finish was in Workout 2, where he finished second with a time of 13:26. 

Coming in third is Ryan Alec Chavez, a certified registered nurse anesthetist in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is a three-time athlete at the CrossFit Regionals and competed in both the 2021 and 2022 Individual Quarterfinals. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by James Stetson (@jamesstets)

Women

  1. Zoe Ziegler

  2. Karla Wolford

  3. Kerri Hewitt

Finishing the weekend on top of the podium on the women’s side is Zoe Ziegler, a board-certified physician assistant. Training out of CrossFit Chalk in Costa Mesa, California, Ziegler finished Workout 2 in first place with a time of 12:47. She also qualified for the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal this year. 

Coming in second place is Karla Wolford, whose success in her career is matched now by her success in CrossFit. Wolford has a pre-medicine undergraduate degree from Concordia College. She later graduated with honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic West and summa cum laude from Logan University with a master’s degree in sports science and rehabilitation. She is now a certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and has an International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma and CrossFit Level 1 Certificate. She is also a four-time Regional athlete, ranked second in the Women 35-39 Division in the Age-Group Quarterfinal, and will be invited to advance to the Age-Group Semifinal. 

Ireland’s Kerri Hewitt is a National Health Service doctor at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Ireland, and has a B.S. in sport and exercise medicine. She competed at the 2021 CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown Semifinal on team CrossFit 8020, finishing in sixth place. This year, she competed in the Individual Quarterfinal and finished in 39th.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kerri Hewitt (@kerrihewitt)

Military Veteran

Men

  1. Jordan Chenier

  2. Blake Sewell

  3. Luke Tweddell

Canada’s Jordan Chenier served as a Canadian Forces Aircraft Structures Technician. His best finish in the Occupational Games was in Workout 1, where he took second place, and Workout 5, where he finished in first with a time of 9:01. Chenier placed second in the first-responder division as well, as he is currently working as a paramedic in Ontario, Canada. 

Blake Sewell was previously enlisted in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Oak Harbor, Washington. He finished the 2022 Open in 88th and the Age-Group Quarterfinal in 53rd in the Men 35-39 Division. Sewell’s best finish in the Occupational Games was in Workout 5, where he took third with a time of 9:38.

The U.K.’s Luke Tweddell is a Royal Marines Commando veteran. He is a 2019 Sanctionals athlete and has competed in eight CrossFit Opens over the years. 

Women

  1. Shaylin Laure

  2. Ellia Miller

  3. Vida Vetterkind

Full-time FBI agent Shaylin Laure is a U.S. Army veteran. Laure took first in the law-enforcement division as well. She logged the best scores in Workouts 2, 3, and 5 in the military-veteran division and never dropped below fourth in any workout. 

Ellia Miller served as a state medical planner with the Army National Guard. Miller was deployed in the Middle East in 2019 as the medical operations officer for an infantry battalion. Currently, she is a CPT in the National Guard as a logistics officer. She took first in the active-duty military division and qualified for the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal, finishing right within the cutline for a Semifinals invitation. She has been invited to the Syndicate Crown Semifinal.

Third-place finisher Vida Vetterkind is a U.S. Army veteran. She is a member at CrossFit Acceleration in Onalaska, Wisconsin. She topped the leaderboard in Workout 5, lifting a total of 864 lb. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ellia Miller (@ellia_miller)

The top three athletes in each division will receive free entry into a Level 1 or Level 2 Certificate Course. Winners will be contacted via email from CrossFit.

Juggling a career on top of competitive CrossFit is no easy task. Congratulations to all of this year’s Occupational Games athletes! 

Note: The leaderboard is still unofficial, and all scores and placements are subject to change. This article will be updated to reflect any shifts in standings and note when the leaderboard is finalized.

Cover photo courtesy of Anthony Lucic and CrossFit Bell.

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