Here's a closer look at Australia's Masters competitors.
While plenty of attention has been focused on the individual and team qualifiers for the 2013 CrossFit Games, the Australia Region will also be sending over a number of world-class Masters athletes to this year’s competition.
In total, 13 athletes have been invited to compete across the 10 Masters divisions in this year. Here is a closer look at each of those competitors.
After finishing the 2013 CrossFit Open in first place in the 40-44 year old Masters category, Amanda Allen will be one of the favourites to claim overall honours in the division. Since qualifying for her first CrossFit Games in 2011, Allen has been narrowly missed out on individual qualification for the past two years, and will be eager than ever to earn a spot on the podium in 2013.
The 19th place finisher at the 2011 Games is also a former National Triathlete, cyclist and canoeist, and will bring a wealth of competitive knowledge with her to Carson this year.
The 2010 CrossFit Games competitor is one of the veterans in the Australia Region. After finishing fifth at the 2011 Australia Regional as an individual, and eighth at the 2012 Regional, Smith finished 27th at this year’s event, showing everyone she still has what it takes to mix it with the world’s best.
Her seventh place finish in the 40-44 year old Masters division during this year’s Open has her in contention for a podium finish at the StubHub Center in 2013.
It’s also a remarkable feat given former National swimmer is a mother-of-five, and a full-time Emergency Nurse who works 12 hour work shifts during the week!
48-year-old Fitzharris will be making her second appearance at the StubHub Center this July, after competing as a Master at the 2012 CrossFit Games. She will also be making a bit of history, with her daughter, Courtney Fitzharris, also competing at the 2013 CrossFit Games with CrossFit Active in the Team division.
Unlike many of her fellow competitors in her Masters category, Fitzharris also competed at the 2013 Australia Regional, as one of the members for CrossFit Active Atarmon in the Team division.
Training under the guidance of dual CrossFit Games competitor, Chad Mackay, at CrossFit Active, Knapman qualified for this year’s 50-54 Masters division after finishing the Open in 11th place worldwide. At the age of 53 Knapman has a 100kg back squat, a sub 3-minute Grace and a 122kg deadlift.
Just like fellow Masters competitor Lynne Fitzharris, Knapman was also one of the members of the CrossFit Active Atarmon team to compete at the 2013 Australia Regional.
Hailing out of Tasmania, Australia, Dunstone will be making her first CrossFit Games appearance this year, after finishing the 2013 Open in 16th place worldwide in the 50-54 year old category. With just two years of CrossFit training behind her, the 53 year old has shown huge improvements since finishing 35th in the same division last year.
Dunstone runs and owns the affiliate CrossFit Launceston with her brother, Russell Kapper, who also qualified for the Games in the 50-54 year old Masters division this year.
55-year-old Stagg qualified for this year’s CrossFit Games after a 14th worldwide placing in the 55-59 year old category during the 2013 CrossFit Open. Stagg finished last year’s Open in 131st place in the 50-54 year old division, missing out on qualifying for the Games. However, after moving up a division this year, she was able to earn a spot at the 2013 Games.
Strangely, Stagg attributes CrossFit to helping her overcome her fear of heights and photography!
The 63 year-old New Zealander is one of the favourites to take out her division, after finishing third worldwide in the 60+ Masters category during this year’s Open. Steinhauer qualified in first place for the same division at the 2012 CrossFit Games, but withdrew before the competition. If she does compete at the StubHub Center this year, she will be one to keep an eye on.
Before CrossFit, Steinhauer represented New Zealand at high jump, was invited to trial for the New Zealand Silver Ferns, the national netball team, and has a strong Pilates background, including being trained by Romana Kryzanowska, a protégé of Joseph Pilates.
After finishing ninth in the 60+ Masters division at the 2012 CrossFit Games, Henderson will be returning to the StubHub Center this year after a 17th place finish in the same category during the 2013 CrossFit Open. The 61 year-old from CrossFit East Adelaide only just qualified too, squeezing into the top 20 by a mere 15 points.
It’s a remarkable effort by Henderson, given she only started CrossFit a few years ago in her late 50s!
The owner of CrossFit Brisbane in Queensland, Australia, earned his spot at the Games after finishing the 2013 CrossFit Open in 11th place worldwide in his Masters division. With names like Bill Grundler and Chris Dozois to compete against, the 44 year old will have his work cut out, but has the ability to push for a podium spot with a sub three-minute ‘Fran’ and a sub two-minute ‘Grace’ to his name.
Swift, who finished 16th in the 2010 Australia Regional, and 17th in 2011, was also close to qualifying as an individual this year, finishing the Open in 84th spot in the region.
After stumbling across CrossFit five years ago, Brian Beck has done a huge job of promoting the sport in Western Australia. The co-owner of Raw Edge CrossFit in Perth, Australia, Beck qualified for this year’s Games despite finishing outside the top 20 in his Masters division during the Open.
The 42 year old finished the Open in 22nd place, but received an invite some higher ranked athletes declined their offers.
In the past two years Beck has also shown he has what it takes to mix it with the best in Australia, finishing 60th in the Region in the 2011 Open, and 103rd this year.
Kapper will be competing at his third CrossFit Games in 2013, after finishing fifth in 2011 and seventh at last year’s competition. The 52 year old from Tasmania qualified for this year’s Games after a 12th place finish in the 50-54 year old category during this year’s Open.
Despite his high level of fitness, Kapper doesn’t come from a sporting background. With seven brothers and sisters, he didn’t have the financial assistance to play sport as a teenager, and only found CrossFit a few years ago after running Bootcamps in Tasmania.
Kapper’s sister, Nicolette Dunstone, will also be competing at this year’s Games in the 50-54 year old category.
The former bodybuilder will be appearing at his first ever CrossFit Games in 2013, after taking part in the CrossFit Open for the first time this year.
Nicholson is the only person in Australia to have competed in over 100 bodybuilding competitions, and had a number of state and national titles to his name before starting CrossFit.
This year, he finished the Open in 13th place worldwide in the 50-54 year old category earning him a ticket to the StubHub Center. With a 220kg deadlift and a 210kg back squat the head coach and co-owner of CrossFit Blackburn in Victoria, Australia has the strength to mix it with the world’s best.
Hindmarsh only just qualified for this year’s CrossFit Games after finishing the 2013 Open in 17th place in the 55-59 year old category. The 55 year old ended up just four points inside the top 20, sneaking in after a second place finish in the final workout.
He is also one of the few Masters competitors to be sponsored, with Rocktape and Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bars signing him up.
The 60-year-old New Zealander will be returning to the StubHub Centre this year, after qualifying in second place for the 60+ division. Jones finished third overall at the 2012 CrossFit Games in the 55-59 year old category, and after moving up a division in 2013, he is sure to be one of the favourites to take out this year’s crown.
Before CrossFit, Jones was a New Zealand SAS Warrant Officer for over 20 years, and has always had a strong appetite for fitness.