2023 CrossFit Games Individual Quarterfinal Recap

March 28, 2023

Kelley Laxton

Take a look back at the best moments and top scores from the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Individual Quarterfinal.

A few weeks ago, the top 10% of individual athletes from the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open were invited to compete in the Individual Quarterfinal. This stage of the season split up the field by region to determine who would compete at their respective Semifinal events this spring. Over the course of three days, athletes were tasked to complete one to two tests in a 24-hour window, totaling five. 

The deficit chest-to-wall handstand push-ups and double-under crossovers of last year’s Games were a warning as to what could appear in later seasons. But these new movements showed up sooner than expected — albeit with slight variations. Right out of the gate, athletes were tested with chest-to-wall handstand push-ups and crossovers in the first two tests on Day 1. Athletes also saw the introduction of the V-up to the Quarterfinal stage during Test 4

By the end of the weekend, the fittest athletes rose to the top of their regions’ leaderboards, but just a select few can move on to the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals, the last qualifying stage for the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Take a look at who will be advancing from each region, the top scores, and the best moments from the Individual Quarterfinal.

North America East

Total Women Advancing: 60

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Mallory O’Brien
  2. Brooke Wells
  3. Emma Cary


Total Men Advancing: 60

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Dallin Pepper
  2. Jeffrey Adler
  3. Samuel Cournoyer




Mal O’Brien finished every test within the top eight. She won her first Quarterfinal event on the first day in Test 1 with an incredible time of 5:44, finishing over a minute faster than the rest of the top women worldwide. O’Brien not only took first place on the North America East leaderboard but also planted herself firmly at the top of the worldwide leaderboard.



Dallin Pepper — well known for his CrossFit Games teen career — is starting to establish himself as a top contender in the individual division. After making his individual debut at the CrossFit Games just last year, Pepper has soared to the top of the ranks this season, finishing the Open in 10th worldwide and now first in the North America East region in the Quarterfinals. 

Securing the final tickets to the North America East Semifinal in Orlando, Florida, are 25-year-old Rachel Fricker and 26-year-old Ben Davidson. Both athletes competed on teams in 2022. Fricker made it to the 2022 CrossFit Atlas Games Semifinal on team CrossFit Explode, and Davidson was a member of the 2022 CrossFit Games team CrossFit Mayhem Justice. If both athletes decide to continue on in the individual division, this will be their first Semifinals competing solo. 




North America West

Total Women Advancing: 60

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Arielle Loewen
  2. Alex Gazan
  3. Rebecca Fuselier


Total Men Advancing: 60

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Justin Medeiros
  2. Patrick Vellner
  3. Cole Greashaber




The power couple Justin Medeiros (North America West) and Ellie Turner (Oceania) turned heads during Test 2 when both athletes set worldwide records side-by-side. Medeiros finished with 575 reps and Turner with 543. This will be Medeiros’ second and Turner’s third worldwide Quarterfinal career test wins.



Medeiros is holding tight to his powerful reign over the men’s division, taking the lead on the worldwide leaderboard during the Individual Quarterfinal for the second year in a row. This win has tied Medeiros with Tia-Clair Toomey for most worldwide Quarterfinal wins. 

Sitting just below Medeiros is Canadian favorite Pat Vellner, who added his first worldwide Quarterfinal test win to his resume during Test 5, when he finished the 21-15-9 reps of deadlifts, chest-to-bar pull-ups, bar muscle-ups, and rope climbs in just 4:09. Vellner took second in the North America West region and second worldwide. 

Coming in third on the women’s North America West leaderboard is Rebecca Fuselier, who was also a former teen Games athlete making her break in the individual division last year. At the 2022 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, Fuselier took the final Games-qualifying spot by just one point. Fuselier is known for her fearless climb up The Capitol at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Her third-place finish marks her best Quarterfinals performance, up from 59th place in 2022. 





Total Women Advancing: 60

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Laura Horvath
  2. Gabriela Migała
  3. Emma Tall


Total Men Advancing: 60

Top 3 Finishers 

  1. Fabian Beneito
  2. Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson
  3. Victor Hoffer




Five-time CrossFit Games athlete and first-ranked Laura Horvath has won her second Quarterfinal with an outstanding performance in the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Individual Quarterfinal. Starting out with a 24th-place finish in Test 1, Horvath finished the remainder of the tests in second place or better, securing a first-place finish on the Europe leaderboard and second place worldwide. 

Tied for 59th and securing the final women’s invitations to the Europe Semifinal are Sweden’s Madeleine Persson and five-time Bulgaria National Champion Ralitza Koterlitzova. Persson debuted at Semifinals last year, attending the Lowlands Throwdown, and will be invited to compete in Germany in June. Koterlitzova plans to take on the Team Quarterfinal this weekend. If her team — CrossFit NCR Nation — qualifies, she must choose to either compete as an individual at the Europe Semifinal or decline her invitation and compete in the team division at the North America East Semifinal.

Five out of the top 10 men on the Europe leaderboard have not been to the CrossFit Games before. First-place finisher Fabian Beneito from Spain has been fighting for a ticket to the Games since 2021, advancing to the Last-Chance Qualifier in both 2021 and 2022. This marks Beneito’s best Quarterfinal finish as he heads to Germany to vie again for a chance to compete at the finals in August. 





Total Women Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Dawon Jung
  2. Seher Kaya
  3. Kamila Takeyeva


Total Men Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Morteza Sedaghat
  2. Andrei Fedotov
  3. Eren Kim




Only two women in Asia’s top 10 have competed at the CrossFit Games before — 63rd-ranked Seher Kaya from Turkey and 158th-ranked Shahad Budebs from the United Arab Emirates. 

Finishing first for the second year in a row is Dawon Jung from the Republic of Korea. Jung narrowly missed a ticket to the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games when she finished second at the 2022 Far East Throwdown Semifinal and is still looking to make her debut at the CrossFit Games. In the 2023 Individual Quarterfinal, Jung was fourth or higher in every test, with a best finish of first in Test 3, when she finished the five rounds of burpee box jump-overs and clean and jerks in a time of 5:12. 

Three-time Iran National Champion Morteza Sedaghat soared to the top of the men’s leaderboard after five tests in Asia. Sedaghat has also been vying for a spot at his first CrossFit Games, narrowly missing a ticket in both 2021 and 2022. Each year, he has progressed, taking his first Individual Quarterfinal win this year. 

The final man to grab a Semifinals invite in Asia is Luke Tweddell from the United Arab Emirates. This will be his first year advancing to the Semifinal stage if he accepts his invitation to the Far East Throwdown. 





Total Women Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Christina Livaditakis
  2. Mariska Smit
  3. Gemma Rader


Total Men Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Kealan Henry
  2. Darren Zurnamer
  3. Michael van Tonder




Two-time Zimbabwe National Champion Christina Livaditakis was just one spot away from making it to the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games after finishing second at the CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal. This year, she is not giving up hope, finishing the worldwide Open in 76th and winning her first Individual Quarterfinal in the Africa region. Livaditakis finished three of the five tests in second place and won Test 4 with a score of 507 reps. 

Sitting in second on the women’s leaderboard is Mariska Smit. Most of her competitive experience is in the team division, having competed on team CrossFit Eikestad during the 2021 season and CrossFit Commit Okavango in 2022. Both teams won their divisions during the Quarterfinals and Semifinals in 2021 and 2022. If Smit accepts her invitation to the Africa Semifinal, it will be her first Semifinal as an individual. 

First-place finisher on the men’s Africa leaderboard, Kealan Henry, made his Games debut last year after winning the CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal. The South African finished the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open in 164th and rose to the top of the Africa leaderboard during the Individual Quarterfinal, taking home the win for the first time. He’s on the right path to potentially make his second appearance at the CrossFit Games this year. 


Kealan Henry

Kealan Henry at the 2022 Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal | Photo by @roarkebouffe


Rounding out the top three are Darren Zurnamer and Michael van Tonder, who have both competed in Semifinals but haven’t quite made it to the CrossFit Games yet. Zurnamer finished the 2022 Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal in third and Van Tonder in 13th. Their performances in the Individual Quarterfinal have secured them the highest Quarterfinal finishes of their careers. 





Total Women Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Katelin van Zyl
  2. Jamie Simmonds
  3. Briony Challis


Total Men Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Ricky Garard
  2. Jay Crouch
  3. William Kearney




For the first time in her career, Katelin van Zyl has taken home first place in the Individual Quarterfinals. Van Zyl was a team athlete in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, winning the 2022 Torian Pro as a member of CrossFit Urban Energy. She has been to the CrossFit Games twice with the team. This year, she has proven she is also a strong athlete standing alone. 


Katelin Van Zyl

Katelin van Zyl at the 2022 Down Under Championship CrossFit-Licensed Event | Photo by @rubywolff


Fourth-place finisher Ellie Turner had a bit of a rocky start to the weekend, finishing Test 1 in 40th place. She went on to win the next three tests in a row, bumping her back up the leaderboard. 

Topping the men’s leaderboard is 2022 silver medalist Ricky Garard, who has won the Individual Quarterfinal in Oceania for the second year since his return to competition after serving a four-year sanction. 

Rounding out the top three is 18th-ranked and five-time CrossFit Games athlete Jay Crouch and PRVN Fitness coach William Kearney, who made his debut at Semifinals in 2021. Kearney will be looking to attend his first CrossFit Games this year if he performs well at the Oceania Semifinal. 




South America

Total Women Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Victoria Campos
  2. Sasha Nievas
  3. Carolina Martinez


Total Men Advancing: 30

Top 3 Finishers

  1. Guilherme Malheiros
  2. Benjamin Gutierrez
  3. Agustin Richelme




Brazil’s Victoria Campos shined in South America last year, ranking first in Brazil during the Open, fifth in South America during the Individual Quarterfinal, and first at the 2022 Copa Sur Semifinal before making her first appearance at the CrossFit Games. She is following a similar path this year, claiming her first Individual Quarterfinal win of her career. 

Second-place finisher Sasha Nievas competed on team CrossFit Mayhem Independence for the 2022 season, helping the team win the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge and place fifth at the CrossFit Games. She is back to individual competition this year, joining the PRVN Fitness team, and has secured the highest Quarterfinal placement of her career.

To no surprise, 10th-ranked Gui Malheiros sits at the top of South America’s men’s leaderboard at the end of the Individual Quarterfinal. This will be Malheiros’ second consecutive Quarterfinal win of his career. 




Up Next: Semifinals

Taking place from May 18 - June 4, the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals will determine who will be invited to compete at the finals in Madison, Wisconsin, at the end of the season. CrossFit will host three Semifinals in the North America East, North America West, and Europe regions and partner with event organizers to host the remaining four in Asia, South America, Africa, and Oceania. 

The top 60 athletes from the North America East, North America West, and Europe regions and the top 30 athletes from Asia, South America, Africa, and Oceania will advance to their region’s live Semifinal event. 




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Cover photo: Gabriela Migała at the 2022 Individual Quarterfinal | Photo by @nicoglenny_ph