Eight of the 10 Masters Qualifier champs have competed at the CrossFit Games, and six of the eight have finished on the podium.
Last weekend, the world’s fittest masters competitors fought for the chance to compete at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.
“A lot of those girls have now been around for five years and I'd expect the best in the world, like Sam Briggs, would be able to do it in 3:30,” Allen continued. “I've only been doing this for three years, so I think I'm doing OK. We've evolved so far, it's off-the-Richter-scale insane."
It's an incredible time, made more impressive by Allen's history with the muscle-up. She lost her chance to return to the CrossFit Games when she failed the muscle-ups in the final event of the 2012 Australia Regional.
With a 15th-place finish in the event, she fell to fourth overall, missing out on an individual berth. In 2013, Allen once again struggled with the muscle-ups in the third event of the Australia Regional, which ultimately cost her a podium finish again.
"In my mind, at the last two regionals, muscle-ups have cost me a return to the Games,” she said. “I can't do 10 in a row, yet—that's my goal. I've only strung seven together so far, but that's OK. Some stuff takes longer."
Allen, last year's champion in the 40-44 Division, is hoping to qualify for the CrossFit Games as an individual this year, having secured a spot at this year's Australia Regional in Wollongong. However, if she doesn't claim a podium finish next month, she will be one of the favorites to go back-to-back in her masters division having won three of the four qualifiers over the weekend.
"My sole goal, if I am back at the Games as a masters athlete, is to win it again,” she said. “All my skills are improving, my gymnastics has gotten better since I've been working with Sean Lind and my lifting is coming along. Speed is my biggest issue. I come from an endurance background so that speed under the bar is something I've had to work so hard for."
Gymnastics movements play to his favor, and he liked seeing the more complex gymnastics movements appear in the Masters Qualifier programming.
Mary Beth Litsheim started her 2014 season training under new coaches at CrossFit WestCo. Although Litsheim finished ninth in the Open, her incredible performance in Events 2 and 3 of the Masters Qualifier resulted in a first-place finish in the Masters 50-54 Division. Litsheim's 6:25 Amanda time was 49 seconds faster than Patti Carson Lawhorne, of CrossFit Lifetime Fitness, who is three years younger.
Litsheim credits her coaches, Brian Mackenzie and Cody Burkhart, for her success.
"They have brought me to where I am at," she said. "It has been a long road."
With his Masters Qualifier win, Olson continues to dominate the 60+ Division.
15th, 50+ Division, 2010 CrossFit Games
She finished the 9-7-5 reps of chest-to-bar pull-ups and 55-lb. snatches in 4:43, which was a one-minute PR and the fastest time in her division. Katherine Stojkovic followed seven seconds behind her to take second place.
The 50 pull-up and 100 wall-ball shots sprint in Event 4 was Schwing's favorite part of the weekend, she said. Standing at 5-foot-7, Schwing is relatively tall and doesn't mind throwing a 10-lb. medicine ball to a 9-foot target. After getting through the 50 pull-ups, she tore through the 100 wall-ball shots to finish in 8:23, beating the next fastest woman by 25 seconds.
"I knew right away that Event 4 was right in my wheelhouse," she said, "so I was excited about that one. I actually love wall balls."
Her 127-lb. clean was a 2-lb. PR, beating her previous one-rep max at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.
“I was so humbled by the weekend," Schwing said. "Every year people keep getting better, and I keep seeing great athletes move up from the younger fields. I have to just keep working on the next thing.”
Over the next three months, Schwing will continue to train under the same roof as two-time CrossFit Games individual competitor Elyse Umeda and 2013 Games team CrossFit 808.
"I just do whatever Elyse tells me to do, and training with the team in always both intimidating and inspiring," Schwing said. "Those women! I just cleaned 125 lb. and Brandi (Richardson) can throw 100 lb. more that that over her head!"