The Crossfit Games officially begin next week, and the excitement couldn’t be more palpable. Unlike the last four years, 2015 will feature a new champion in the Men’s division now that Rich Froning has moved on to team competition. Even better, the Women’s division will be even more stacked with talent now that Kara Webb is healthy and Sam Briggs and Lindsey Valenzuela have both returned to the Games. The Team division will be particularly entertaining now that many of the main teams have drastically changed since the 2014 Games.
Now that the Games are a week away—and because I am so excited—it is time to make some predictions about who will win the Men’s, Women’s, and Team divisions. Each category will include the top five competitors at each position.
- Matthew Fraser
- Dan Bailey
- Noah Ohlsen
- Scott Panchik
- Chad Melton
Fraser is a top pick heading into the 2015 Games.
Matthew Fraser barely lost to Froning during the 2014 Games, and he has been on a tear ever since. Fraser won the Northeast Open before taking over the East Regional. Fraser is a strong, well-balanced athlete, and his Olympic lifting background will be especially helpful during the recently announced Snatch Ladder event. Dan Bailey has never finished outside of the top 10 during his Crossfit career, but looks better than ever before heading into the 2015 Games. Bailey won the California Regional in decisive fashion, and he set an event record during Randy. Bailey looks like he is out for blood this season, and his competiveness will land him a spot in the top three.
Noah Ohlsen is a popular pick heading into 2015, and for good reason. Ohlsen won the 2014 South East Regional, impressed during the 2014 Games, and he has only gotten better since. After winning the Atlantic Regional, Ohlsen is in prime position to leap into the top three with a strong performance during the Games. Scott Panchik is as solid an athlete as anyone in the Games, and he looking to finish well during a fourth consecutive trip. Panchik finished fourth in 2012 and 2013 before finishing fifth in 2014. Panchik consistently rises to the competition, and he doesn’t particularly have a major weakness.
Chad Melton worked his way into the 2015 Games.
Chad Melton is more of a dark horse candidate, but the Southern Californian competitor can’t be ignored after a solid regionals performance. Melton only had one event during Regionals in which he didn’t finish in the top 15. As he proved during the max Snatch event, Melton can handle the heavier weights. You also can’t forget that Melton is the man who beat both Josh Bridges and Kenny Leverich en route to an appearance at the Crossfit Games.
- Kara Webb
- Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
- Annie Thorisdottir
- Emily Bridgers
- Lindsey Valenzuela
Kara Webb was in prime position to win the 2014 Crossfit Games before a devastating injury took her out of competition. Now, the Australian competitor is fully healthy and headed for redemption. Webb had a strong performance during Regionals, and she appears ready to go. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was the 2014 Crossfit Games Champion, and so far she looks to be in prime position for another strong performance. Bazinet is a fierce competitor who is strong in Olympic lifts and better at gymnastics. Annie Thorisdottir, the first ever repeat champ in 2011 and 2012, missed the 2013 Games before coming back to take second place in 2014. However, Annie is another year removed from the back injury that kept her out during 2013, and she will be looking to claim another top three finish.
Emily Bridgers finished sixth during the 2014 Games, but she appears ready for more heading into next week. Bridgers was downright impressive during the Regionals, taking the top spot after winning four different events. If Event Three from Regionals is any indication, Bridgers should be well prepared for anything Dave Castro can throw at her. A top five finish should be in Bridgers’ future.
Lindsey Valenzuela missed the 2014 Games in heartbreaking fashion, and she has been on a mission ever since. Valenzuela was great during Regionals, including a top two finish during the Snatch event. Obviously, Valenzuela has her sights set on a podium finish, but top five is nothing to be ashamed of.
On a side note, Sam Briggs is definitely talented enough to take a top five spot, but her injury is just a little worrisome.
- NorCal Crossfit
- Crossfit Mayhem Freedom
- Ute Crossfit
- Crossfit Invictus
- Crossfit New England
After an astoundingly dominating performance at Regionals, it is difficult to predict that any team will beat NorCal Crossfit. The addition of Jason Khalipa to an already strong team seems to have just pushed the team over the top. Of course, the team from Tennessee is no slouch either. Both James Hobart and 4x Games Champion Rich Froning competed individually during the 2014 Games, and they help make Mayhem a very strong team.
Ute Crossfit cleaned up during the South Regionals, winning three events en route to finishing 87 points ahead of second place. Like Mayhem and NorCal, Ute features a former individual competitor in team captain Tommy Hackenbruck. During the South Regionals, Ute Crossfit displayed impressive teamwork on the synchronized event, which could provide them with an advantage during the Games.
Crossfit Invictus won the Games in 2014, so they are one of the favorites heading into the next week’s events. However, the roster is different this season, including the additions of Lauren Fisher and Rasmus Wisbech Andersen. Invictus will pose a major challenge to the other teams as long as everyone remains healthy. Will Lauren Fisher be fully recovered from the severe ankle sprain that hurt her Regionals performance?
Crossfit New England seems to be under the radar heading into the 2015 Games, but this team is stronger than many people think. CF New England only had one event during the East Regionals in which they didn’t finish in the top five—they finished sixth. It’s very difficult to find a weakness on CF New England, and there is enough talent to secure a top five finish at the 2015 Games.