Games Bound: Semifinals Week 4 Winners

June 21, 2021

Brittney Saline

Twelve more men, women, and teams are now on their way to the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin. Here’s a look at what happened in the fourth and final week of Semifinals competition. 

The reps are done, and the unofficial results are in.

With the conclusion of the CrossFit West Coast Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the online CrossFit Atlas Games and CrossFit Asia Invitational comes the end of the Semifinals season.

Twelve more men, women, and teams are now on their way to the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin. Here’s a look at what happened in the fourth and final week of Semifinals competition. 

CrossFit West Coast Classic

Age or experience: Which is more potent?

That’s the question that had people pondering as three-time teen-division Games champ Dallin Pepper finished Day 1 in first, ahead of multiple individual Games veterans more than a decade his senior. After all, 17-year-old Mallory O’Brien took second at the Granite Games two weeks ago; maybe it’s time for a changing of the guard.

And indeed, Pepper performed admirably, with two second-place finishes, one fourth and one 10th. But as the weekend wore on, the vets rose to the top, with Cole Sager earning his eighth Games appearance following two event wins and six top-five finishes. 

Cole S
Cole Sager (Photo by Duke Loren Photography)

Joining him for the reunion in Madison are Noah Ohlsen, Sean Sweeney, Will Moorad, and Brandon Luckett, who edged Pepper out of the final Games spot by two seconds in the last event.

But don’t count the teenager out just yet. He’ll have a chance to make his way to Madison in the Last-Chance Qualifier — coming up July 2-4 — alongside Spencer Panchik and Cédric Lapointe.

On the women’s side, six-time CrossFit Games veteran Kari Pearce started the weekend as the top pick to win the competition. She’s finished the Games in the top five thrice and stood on the podium once. 

And you will see her at the Games again this year — but not as the CrossFit West Coast Classic’s victor. Though she started the weekend in the overall lead, Bethany Shadburne overtook her with four top-three finishes over the next two days, including two event wins (2019 Ruck Run 2.0 and Triple-G Chipper 2017). 

The last three qualifying spots went to Danielle Brandon, Dani Speegle and Regan Huckaby; Alexis Raptis, Kloie Wilson and Kelly Stone advance to the Last-Chance Qualifier.

CrossFit Invictus has sent a team to the Games every year since the inception of the Affiliate Cup. Why break tradition now? 

CrossFit Invictus (Photo by Duke Loren Photography)

By Day 2, both its teams — Invictus and Invictus Unconquerable — had risen to the top two spots, and that’s where they stayed until the final rep was counted. This year will mark the team’s 12th consecutive Games appearance, an unrivaled record.

Ohio Brutes, Backcountry Black, and Blues City Athletics rounded out third, fourth, and fifth.

Congrats to all the Games Qualifiers out of the CrossFit West Coast Classic!

Games Qualifiers - Men

1. Cole Sager - 583 pts.

2. Noah Ohlsen - 548 pts.

3. Sean Sweeney - 513 pts.

4. Will Moorad - 489 pts.

5. Brandon Luckett - 481 pts.

Men's Podium

Games Qualifiers - Women

1. Bethany Shadburne - 632 pts.

2. Kari Pearce - 628 pts.

3. Danielle Brandon - 573 pts.

4. Dani Speegle - 542 pts.

5. Regan Huckaby - 528 pts.

Women's Podium

Games Qualifiers - Teams

1. Invictus - 603 pts.

2. Invictus Unconquerable - 595 pts.

3. Ohio Brutes - 539 pts.

4. Backcountry Black - 530 pts.

5. Blues City Athletics - 528 pts.

Team podium

CrossFit Atlas Games

A week before the CrossFit Atlas Games, five-time Games veteran and two-time podium finisher Pat Vellner had his first child.

“We welcomed little Owen William Vellner into the world on Friday last week and life has been a bit of a whirlwind ever since!” he wrote. “This little guy is our new obsession and we’re so excited for this new adventure.”


A post shared by Patrick Vellner (@pvellner)

On Sunday, Vellner celebrated his first Father’s Day by winning the CrossFit Atlas Games — with a 52-point margin over fellow Canadian and Games athlete Jeffrey Adler

In fact, all five spots went to Canadians: Samuel Cournoyer, Alex Vigneault, and Brent Fikowski will all fly the maple-leaf flag in Madison. But for fan-favorite Fikowski, the beloved “Professor,” it was a close call. 

The Games veteran started the weekend in 15th after 19th- and 12-place finishes in the first two events. By Day 2 he’d crawled up to seventh, thanks in large part to his Event 4 win.

On Day 3, he went “full send.” Then came the hardest part of the competition.

“Now we wait for the leaderboard to update,” he wrote.

When it did, he’d clinched the final Games spot.

Brent Fikowski (2017 CrossFit)

Americans Tyler ChristophelCole Greashaber and Phil Toon, alongside Canadian Alexandre Caron, will get one more attempt in the Last-Chance Qualifier in July.

Carolyne Prevost would have made her second trip to the CrossFit Games last year if it weren’t for the season changes mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year, she will. 

Carolyne Prevost (2017 CrossFit)

The Canadian held a qualifying spot all weekend, never dropping below third and ultimately taking the gold with three event wins. She’ll be joined in Madison by fellow Games athletes Mekenzie Riley and Emily Rolfe (tied for second; fourth) and rookies Baylee Rayl and Sydney Michalyshen (tied for second; fifth).

Anikha Greer, Alexis Johnson, and Paige Semenza will compete in the Last-Chance Qualifier.

The team leaderboard read the same four names in the top four spots all weekend. 

Pro1 Montreal won the competition with devastating dominance, winning all but two events and taking only one finish below second. CrossFit Resurrection and team 1855 volleyed for second and third from day to day; the former finishing on top for second overall with five points more than the latter.

Rhapsody calmly held fourth throughout all six events, and Team Koda took the fifth and final Games spot.

Congrats to all the Games Qualifiers out of the CrossFit Atlas Games!

Games Qualifiers - Men

1. Patrick Vellner - 544 pts.

2. Jeffrey Adler - 492 pts.

3. Samuel Cournoyer - 449 pts.

4. Alex Vigneault - 449 pts.

5. Brent Fikowski - 442 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Women

1. Carolyne Prevost - 469 pts.

2. Mekenzie Riley - 468 pts.

3. Baylee Rayl - 468 pts.

4. Emily Rolfe - 456 pts.

5. Sydney Michalyshen - 448 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Teams

1. Pro1 Montreal - 570 pts.

2. CrossFit Resurrection - 535 pts.

3. 1855 - 530 pts.

4. Rhapsody - 525 pts.

5. Team Koda - 455 pts.

CrossFit Asia Invitational

Get ready to see some red, white, and blue of the triband variety in Madison, Wisconsin.

Of the six Games spots up for grabs at the CrossFit Asia Invitational — two men, two women, and two teams — four went to the Russians. 

The men’s race saw flip-flops between Aleksander Ilin, Stas Solodov, and Roman Khrennikov all weekend. Ilin and Solodov led after Day 1; Khrennikov and Solodov after Day 2. 

Aleksander Ilin — See Morning Chalk Up's Day 3 Recap of the Asia Invitational

But all that matters is who’s on top after the final event. In this case, that’s Solodov — who’d already qualified in the Masters 35-39 division — and Illin, who will return to the Games for the second time. Denis Samsonov and Morteza Sedaghat live to fight another day in the Last-Chance Qualifier.

The women’s competition was a similarly tight race.

Svetlana Veselova and Aizhan Zharasova ended Day 1 tied for first, but by the end of Day 2, Svetlana Kubyshkina and Seungyeon Choi held the two qualifying spots. 

Aizhan Zharasova — See Morning Chalk Up's Day 2 Recap of the Asia Invitational

Though Veselova gave a laudable final push with first- and fifth-place finishes on Day 3, it wasn’t enough to cover lost ground. Kubyshkina’s and Choi’s positions held, and the two advanced to the Games with no finish below eighth for either.

Veselova will be joined in the Last-Chance Qualifier by Yuko Sakuyama and Zharasova.

The team competition, however, held steady all weekend. 

Kolesnikov Team held first from start to finish, winning the competition with a clean three event wins and three second-place finishes. 

Similarly, Team Dubai held a solid second with three event wins and no finish below fourth. 

Both teams boast talented individual athletes — all four members on Kolesnikov team declined individual Semifinals spots; Team Dubai features two former national champions — and will likely deliver promising action at the Games in July.

Congrats to all the Games Qualifiers out of the CrossFit Asia Invitational!

Games Qualifiers - Men

1. Stas Solodov - 544 pts.

2. Aleksander Ilin - 538 pts.

Games Qualifiers - Women

1. Svetlana Kubyshkina - 544 pts.

2. Seungyeon Choi - 512 pts.

Games Qualifies - Teams

1. Kolesnikov Team - 585 points

2. Team Dubai - 570 points

Cover photo and podium shots by Meg Ellery

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