The 2023 CrossFit Open Week 2 Recap

February 28, 2023

Kelley Laxton

Take a look back at Week 2 of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open. 

It all started with some burrito bowls and a Plinko game

The second week of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open was electric. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Dave Castro hinted at the second Open test on his Instagram, ramping up excitement surrounding the live announcement of 23.2. This clue proved to be insightful, as many guessed shuttle runs would be in their future. 

The next day, the live announcement of Open Test 23.2 headed to the east coast of the United States. It took up shop at CrossFit Bison in New Jersey, where the world learned they would soon be completing a workout with three notoriously nauseating movements: the burpee pull-up, shuttle runs, and the thruster. 

The first to kick off 23.2 were two local athletes from CrossFit Bison, Advanced Practice Nurse Kathleen Staunton and New Jersey State Trooper Joel Trella. Standing on the competition floor with the spotlight shining on them was a challenge, but it was nothing compared to the challenges both athletes faced to get that moment. 

The night before the 2022 Open, Staunton was diagnosed with breast cancer and had been recovering for the last year. Trella has battled post-traumatic stress and depression for years. But both athletes have overcome adversity through the help of CrossFit.



Their stories were broadcast on the livestream and on a big screen near the competition floor as the athletes began to chalk up their hands for the workout. The world witnessed just how strong and resilient these two athletes are.

Staunton and Trella were neck-and-neck for the entire 15 minutes of 23.2A, but Trella pulled out in front, surpassing Staunton by just one burpee pull-up with a score of 102. For the next five minutes, Staunton successfully lifted a 115-lb and Trella a 165-lb thruster, followed by roaring chants from their peers in the crowd. 

Next to take the floor were long-reigning King of the North Pat Vellner and second-Fittest Man on Earth Roman Khrennikov. For the first 12 minutes, the duo was almost in sync, but with just minutes left on the clock, Vellner began to slow down, allowing Khrennikov to widen his lead. When the clock read 15 minutes, Khrennikov had finished 23.2A in first with a total of 168 reps, six ahead of Vellner. 

In 23.2B, both athletes had very different approaches to their opening lifts. Recovering for just one minute, Khrennikov approached his bar first, opening almost 100 lb lighter than Vellner at 135 lb. Vellner made his first attempt 30 seconds later at 230 lb and successfully completed the lift. With seconds remaining on the clock, Khrennikov and Vellner attempted 300 and 275 lb, respectively, but couldn’t quite lock out their arms at the top. Khrennikov won Part B of the matchup with a successful lift of 295 lb over Vellner’s 270. 

For the next five days, the CrossFit community took on Open Test 23.2 in their affiliates and garage gyms across the world.


CrossFit Athletic (Australia)

CrossFit Athletic (Australia) | Photo by Ruby Wolff


Open Test 23.2 Analysis



Complete as many reps as possible in 15 minutes of:

5 burpee pull-ups

10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 25 ft out/25 ft back)

*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round.



Immediately following 23.2A, athletes will have 5 minutes to establish:

1-rep-max thruster (from the floor)


"In order to do 23.2A Rx’d, an athlete needed to be able to do a jumping pull-up to a bar beyond their reach. Although a jumping pull-up is easier than a normal pull-up, it’s not as easy as one might imagine. For women 18-34, 27% opted to do the scaled version of 23.2A, compared to 5% for men 18-34. Looking at the high performers, 15% of women 18-34 and 49% of men 18-34 were able to get beyond 5 full rounds.

"For this week, the version you performed for 23.2A dictated your version for 23.2B. So the same percentage of athletes did scaled and Rx’d on both parts. 

"Looking at 225 lb (102 kg) for the men and 155 lb (70 kg) for the women, we see that 10% of women 18-34 and 22% of men 18-34 were able to perform a thruster at least that heavy. For the masters and teenagers, 7% and 3% accomplished the same, respectively."



Open Test 23.2 at CrossFit de L'ouest | Photo by Sam Beriault

Open Test 23.2 at CrossFit de l'ouest | Photo by Sam Beriault


Highlights from the Community

The Youngest vs. Oldest

“The needs of an Olympic athlete and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind,” said Greg Glassman. 

Like all CrossFit workouts, Open Test 23.2 allowed all ages to perform the workout side-by-side. Take a look at 4-year-old Winter completing the second Open test right next to 63-year-old Mirian Da Silva. 



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The Next Generation of CrossFit Athletes 

We are seeing the next generation of CrossFit athletes begin to get a taste for competition.


Kids at CrossFit Kinesis doing 23.2

Kids at CrossFit Kinesis doing 23.2 | Photo by Ginnie Coleman


Deka CrossFit owner Cari Meti’s daughter Ivy completed 23.2 Rx’d with 82 reps and a 17-lb thruster. 



This resilient 9-year old battles from Hurler Syndrome. Ocean performed 23.2 — which included two of the hardest movements for her body — on National Rare Disease day. She scaled the workout and completed 47 reps in Part A and an 18-lb thruster in Part B. 

“I told her that she did something today that not every adult could do,” mother Star E. Kelly said. 



Pregnant and Crushing the Open

Scaling to individual needs, pregnant women were still able to join in on the fun of the Open.  

Six-time Fittest Woman on Earth Tia-Clair Toomey has completed every Open test so far while pregnant. In 23.2, Toomey completed more than 5 rounds and lifted a 195-lb thruster. She currently sits in 3,794 place on the worldwide leaderboard. 



Mom-to-be Mariana Díaz scaled 23.2A at CrossFit Sunalta, finishing with a total of 155 reps. She then went on to throw 115 lb overhead during her 1-rep-max thruster in Part B. 



Who Won Open Test 23.2?


23.2A     23.2B    
Test Variation Name Score Test Variation Name Score
Rx’d Mal O’Brien 188 reps Rx’d Barrett Koons 240 lb
Scaled Maureen Chowdhury 375 reps Scaled Caoimhe Nicholson 344 lb
Foundations Rinad Abdulmalik 275 reps Foundations Mariah Parker 173 lb



23.2A     23.2B    
Test Variation Name Score Test Variation Name Score
Rx’d Charles Curran 191 reps Rx’d Graciano Rubio 375 lb
Scaled Abimael Marin 253 reps Scaled Alexandre Sangalang 315 lb
Foundations Baptiste Linet 355 reps Foundations Jason Marlowe 255 lb


The Overall Standings Heading into Week 3


RX Women RX Men
1. Mal O’Brien
2. Paige Powers
3. Emma Lawson
1. Jeffrey Adler
2. Tola Morakinyo
3. Colten Mertens


Scaled Women Scaled Men
1. Jaime Griffiths
2. Zohreh Rasouli
3. Sarah Klitzke
1. Dylan Weller
2. Adam Fowler
3. Szabó Dávid


Foundations Women Foundations Men
1. Kate Casey
2. Ana Paula Ferreira Claro
3. Camila Lopes Camara
1. Simon Loh
2. Jorge Hierro Ramos
3. Geò Laza


1. CrossFit East Nashville PRVN
2. CrossFit Mayhem Independence
3. CrossFit Invictus


Check out the 2023 Open leaderboard for a full list of standings in every division. 


Get Ready for Open Test 23.3

The third and final week of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Open is here, presented by RP Strength

Open Test 23.3 will be announced live from CrossFit Omaha in Nebraska on Thursday, March 2, at noon PT (3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. GMT). 

Immediately following the announcement of 23.3, second-Fittest Woman on Earth Mal O’Brien and four-time Games athlete Danielle Brandon will go head-to-head, as they help close out the 2023 Open. 




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Cover Photo: CrossFit Malibu During 23.2B | Photo by Meg Ellery