April 12, 2018
For the Ages: The Age Group Online Qualifier
By Brittney Saline
CrossFit Games spots on the line starting April 19.
CrossFit Games spots on the line starting April 19.

Thought you had to wait until Regionals to find out who’s going to the CrossFit Games? 

Think again. 

Next Thursday marks the start of the Age Group Online Qualifier, the second stage of competition for masters and teenage athletes who are vying for spots at the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games. The top 200 athletes worldwide after the Open in each of the 16 age group divisions will be invited to compete. 

Athletes will be ranked according to their performances across four workouts, with a fifth score based on their final Open rankings. But unlike the Open, athletes will have just four days to complete all four Qualifier events. The top 20 athletes in each division will advance to the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games. 

With 3,200 athletes advancing from the Open to the Qualifier, there is no shortage of stories to follow. The field includes 25 previous CrossFit Games masters champions. Some will compete for the first time in new divisions, while others will fight to defend their titles.

Names to Know in the Masters Divisions

Among the champions is Shawn Ramirez, who holds the record for the most CrossFit Games masters victories—he’s won the 40-44 Division every year since 2014. This year, he’ll have to contend with the aged-up Neal Maddox, a six-time individual Games athlete who made his masters debut—and took second—in the new 35-39 Division last year.

Helen Harding also looks to defend back-to-back titles—she won the 40-44 Division in 2016 and 2017. She, too, will have company because Stephanie Roy, 2017’s 35-39 Games champion, aged up and made a statement with a worldwide Open victory in her new division. 

The Qualifier will also see some familiar faces joining the masters field for the first time. Making their debuts are Matt Chan, a six-time individual Games veteran who will join the 40-44 Division, and Deborah Carson (formerly known as Cordner Carson), a three-time individual Games athlete who will compete in the 35-39 Division. 

Top Teens

Teenagers have competed at the Games since 2015 and in the Qualifier only since last year, but rivalries are already developing. Kaela Stephano and Haley Adams took first and second place at the Games in 2016 (in the 14-15 Division) and 2017 (in the 16-17 Division), though Adams won both the Open and the Qualifier last year. 

Stephano and Adams finished one-two again after the 2018 Open, though fans might not get the chance to see them go head-to-head at the Games: Stephano, who also qualified for the Atlantic Regional as an individual, has elected to compete at the Regional with team CrossFit Hype

Also in the mix is Chloe Smith, who won the 14-15 Division at the Games last year and has since aged up. She’s joined by Vincent Ramirez and Dallin Pepper (Boys 16-17) in the quest to become two-time teenage champions.

How to Compete

Age group athletes in the 16-17 and 35-54 Divisions may also compete as individuals at Regionals if they earned spots through the Open.

The Age Group Online Qualifier workouts will be released at 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 19. Athletes will have until 5 p.m. PT on April 23 to submit their scores. Scores must be submitted through the dashboard at Games.CrossFit.com—not via the CrossFit Games mobile app. 

The official hashtags for the Age Group Online Qualifier are #AGOQ, #CrossFitTeens, #CrossFitMasters and #CrossFitGames. Masters athletes on Facebook are welcome to join the Masters Athlete Group here. 

Athletes wishing to advance to the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games must use a registered judge for each workout and have their scores validated by a licensed CrossFit affiliate in good standing. Affiliate mangers have until 5 p.m. PT on April 25 to validate scores. They can also submit videos for online judging, but the videos must follow specific instructions that will be provided. Additionally, athletes must video all four workouts because they will be asked to submit at least one for review. For complete competition rules, be sure to read the official CrossFit Games Rulebook, and please review all standards and details carefully before performing the workouts.

Please note that CrossFit upholds a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of banned performance-enhancing substances and violations of the CrossFit Games Rulebook. Visit the CrossFit Games Allegations page for information about how to report suspicions of cheating by any athlete, affiliate or team.

*Note: All scores and placements on the leaderboard are pending verification and will be unofficial until the video review process is complete.

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