Regional Seedings: Meridian, East, Central

May 26, 2016

Mike Macpherson

Find out how the athletes stack up at this weekend's combined regionals. 

It all comes down to the final regional event.

Out of the 30 Games qualifiers determined so far, 10 changed position in the overall standings based on their performances in the final sprint of light thrusters and legless rope climbs, and four of those changes involved competitors moving up into a Games spot.

Week 2 continued the trend we saw in Week 1, of a top-five seed being a bit less predictive this year than in 2015. Of the 29 top-five seeds that competed, 16 made it through, or 55 percent. That’s the same as Week 1, and less than the 61 percent success rate for top-five seeds in all of 2015.

As for top-10 seeds, in Week 2 we saw 90 percent of Games qualifiers come from the top 10, 27 of 30. The three exceptions, athletes who were seeded outside the top 10 but managed to qualify, are Games vets Gary Helmick (Atlantic) and Cole Sager (West), and rookie Christina Verhagen (West).

Verhagen came in seeded 35th of 40 athletes, the lowest seed we’ve seen qualify since the new regional format began in 2015. She got in by excelling in the heaviest events (135-175-lb. snatches in Event 1, 275-lb. deadlifts in Event 5); very powerful athletes can do much better at regionals than they did in the Open.

If you missed our article during the first week of regionals on how these regional seeds are created, along with a look at how well they have performed in the past at predicting Games qualifiers, check it out right here. The Week 2 updated article is here.

Below we show the top-10 seeds, and last year’s qualifiers, for each of Week 3’s regional competitions. In this case, last is most definitely not least.



The top three women’s seeds, Sam Briggs, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir, are the elite of the elite. They dominated Europe and the world in the Open, averaging fifth-place worldwide, and one has to expect them to occupy three of the five Games-qualifying spots.

The women’s field might have been relieved to have the rock that is Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir lifted off their shoulders—she’s competing in the East—but unfortunately she’s been replaced by the hard place that is Briggs.

Assuming Briggs, Sigmundsdottir, and Thorisdottir go through, the remaining two spots will be hotly contested—the seeds are packed snugly, with less than 30 points separating fourth from 10th. Kristin Holte and Thuridur Erla Helgadottir have both qualified for the Games twice before. And Carmen Bosmans, who missed the Games by just one spot in 2015, sits just outside these top-10 seeds.

Four of the men’s Games qualifiers from 2015 are among the top-10 seeds, as is Frederik Aegidius, a Games vet who narrowly missed qualifying in 2015. Andrey Ganin comes in as the second seed after a stellar Open.

CrossFit Yas nearly ran the table in the Open within Meridian, which includes their home region Africa as well as the Europe region, with four wins and a second place, and they were this year’s worldwide Open champions. They placed second in the 2015 Meridian Regional, but were disqualified prior to the Games for rules violations. After them, many of the 2015 Games-qualifying teams are back with great seeds.


The East is one tough regional, across the board. If you look at the average worldwide Open rankings of the top-10 seeds at each regional, you’ll see that the East’s men have the best average (21st), while the East’s women and teams have the second-best (28th, 25th).

There are a few athletes that seem certain to go through, like Mat Fraser, Davidsdottir and Michele Letendre, but after that it’s very tight.

On the men’s side, there is a veritable raft of Games veterans, including Spencer Hendel (17th seed) and Alex Vigneault, fifth and 11th at the Games in 2015. We’ve also got Paul Tremblay, Albert-Dominic Larouche and Simon Paquette; just outside the top 10 sit Austin Malleolo and Daniel Tyminski. There were also some outstanding performances in the Open from folks that would love to become Games veterans, like Patrick Vellner and Chase Smith.

As for the women, all of last year’s Games qualifiers are back with top-15 seeds, except for Kelley Jackson, who’s on the CrossFit 417 team in the Central Regional. In addition, 2015 Games champ Davidsdottir has moved over to the East from Meridian, and Whitney Gelin, 2015 Games qualifier from the Atlantic Regional, sits in the 14th seed. In our first article, we showed that, historically speaking, seeds out to 15 and even 20 have had a legitimate shot of qualifying for the Games. But much beyond 20 and the odds get really slim.

Team Dynamix, an all-star team full of former Games individual and team competitors, including Amy Dracup and Andrea Ager, crushed the Open with a fifth-place worldwide finish, and sits atop the seeds. Three of the 2015 Games-qualifying teams are among the top 10 teams in the East.

Sit back here and enjoy some crazy-fast times, and what will surely be some tense Sunday drama.



Central is one of the strongest and deepest regionals in CrossFit, especially in the team competition. Rich Froning’s CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, OC3 Black, and CrossFit 417 were three of the top four teams worldwide in this year’s Open. We have seen very high worldwide Open placers, like Kyle Frankenfeld, fail to advance this year, so they’ll certainly need to show up. That may be especially true in a regional where the top nine teams were all among the top 26 teams worldwide in the Open.

Three men from the 2015 Games field appear in the top-10 seeds. In grand Central tradition, they did well at the Games last year, with Scott Panchik in sixth, Jacob Heppner in 10th and Alex Anderson in 13th in his first trip to Carson. Nick Urankar and Graham Holmberg are also in the competition, lurking outside the top 10 along with previous qualifiers Will Moorad and Brandon Pastorek. As always, Central is going to be very intense.

You might be one of the many secretly hoping that Julie Foucher qualifies for the Games from her 14th seed. For her to do that, she’d need a pretty incredible effort against this field. Stacie Tovar and Brooke Wells crushed the Open. Nicole Holcomb and Elisabeth Akinwale both qualified last year, and are sitting just outside the top 10. Games vet Sheila Barden just missed qualifying last year, and a number of the women in the top-10 seeds had strong finishes at regionals last year