The Fittest Region On Earth

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One of the big reasons for HQ altering the Open and Regional formats starting in 2015 was to ensure that the absolute best athletes were represented at the CrossFit Games. In year’s past, because the entire globe had representation, it wasn’t always the most competitive competition. The fact is, some regions are simply stronger, in terms of depth, than others. This year’s “super” Regionals were the answer. Multiple, classic, Open regions were combined, pitting would-be CrossFit Games athletes against each other at the Regional phase of competition.

As already seen in our Game of Regionals – Season 7 article, many traditional, perennial qualifiers fell victim to the increased level of competition. Which Regions benefitted from the new format, and which are wishing it was still 2010? Let’s take a look.

Regional Results (per Regional)

South Regional (South West, South Central, Latin America)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
South West 2 3 3 8
South Central 3 2 2 7
Latin America 0 0 0 0

 

Atlantic Regional (Mid Atlantic, South East)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
Mid Atlantic 2 2 3 7
South East 3 3 2 8

 

California Regional (So. Cal, Nor. Cal)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
Southern Cal 4 2 2 8
Northern Cal 1 3 3 7

 

East Regional (North East, Canada East)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
North East 4 3 3 10
Canada East 1 2 2 5

 

Pacific Regional (Australia, Asia)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
Australia 5 5 5 15
Asia 0 0 0 0

 

West Regional (North West, Canada West)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
North West  2  3  4  9
Canada West  3  2  1  6

 

Central Regional (North Central, Central East)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
North Central  1  3  2  6
Central East  4  2  3  9

 

Meridian Regional (Europe, Africa)

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
Europe  4  5  5  14
Africa  1  0  0  1

Who Benefitted?

The new format big winners were Australia and Europe. The old Regional format allotted only 3 slots for men, women, and teams to make it to the Games. This year, Europe sent 4 men, 5 women, and 5 teams. Australia sent the max (5) in each category.

Southern Cal men also sang their praises this year. They sent 4 men to the big show. Other notable winners included North East men (4), North West teams (4), and Central East men (4).

Who Suffered?

The new format was not kind to the Latin America and Asia regions. Both finished up their respective regional competitions with zero representatives out of 15 headed to the CrossFit Games. In year’s past, Asia and Latin America were guaranteed spots at the Games for 1 male, 1 female, and one affiliate team. Big props go out to Africa for still managing to qualify a male participant. That was never going to be easy when they were combined with the Europe Open region. They missed out on sending a female to the CrossFit Games, but they have the dominant women from Iceland to thank for that.

Other notable Open regions to miss out as a result of the new format include Northern Cal men, Canada East men, Canada West teams, and North Central men. Each were only able to send 1 qualifier to the CrossFit Games in 2015. All were given 3 slots in previous years.

Regional Pride

Lost in all of the super Regional madness has been the newly laid ground work for the development of future geographical rivalries. As an example, how will the NorCal men and Canada West teams take to only sending 1 representative to the Games this year? They have the Southern Cal men and the North West teams to thank for their shortcomings. Now more than ever, an increased awareness about the “other” Open regions included in your super Region is incredibly important. As another example, athletes and fans alike in the Mid-Atlantic Open region will be paying more attention than ever to how things are shaping up in the South East Open region, and vice versa. This is in stark contrast to previously only having to care about your gym’s Open region, plus, maybe, some of the bigger names across the globe. Increased awareness is a necessary ingredient for rivalry.

Regional Pride At The CrossFit Games

In addition, regional pride can now extend to the CrossFit Games. The new format means that each Open region now belongs to a bigger super region. Why is that important? You’ll always have “hometown” athletes to cheer for, even if your specific box or athlete doesn’t manage to qualify. As an example, I live in Southern California and I root for the UCLA mens basketball team. They play in the Pacific 12 (Pac-12) conference. If, for whatever reason, they didn’t advance to the NCAA tournament, myself and other fans still have the opportunity to root for other Pac-12 teams fortunate enough to advance. The other Pac-12 teams, more or less, represent an extension of my hometown. The same can be said of a Mid-Atlantic region athlete/fan rooting for Atlantic Region athletes to be successful at the CrossFit Games.

Regional Results (Overall)

Who sent the most athletes to the 2015 games? Below is a chart depicting representation (by region). It is sorted by total number of Games qualifiers. Australia and Europe fans had lots to cheer for this year.

Region Male Qualifiers Female Qualifiers Team Qualifiers Total
Australia 5 5 5 15
Europe 4 5 5 14
North East 4 3 3 10
Central East 4 2 3 9
North West 2 3 4 9
Southern Cal 4 2 2 8
South East 3 3 2 8
South West 2 3 3 8
Northern Cal 1 3 3 7
Mid Atlantic 2 2 3 7
South Central 3 2 2 7
North Central 1 3 2 6
Canada West 3 2 1 6
Canada East 1 2 2 5
Africa 1 0 0 1
Asia 0 0 0 0
Latin America 0 0 0 0

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The Fittest Region On Earth

Each year CrossFit crowns the fittest man, woman, and team on Earth, but what about the Regions? How did each super Region fare at this year’s Games? We dove into some of the numbers in an attempt to crown the inaugural “Fittest Region On Earth”. View the charts below to find out.

(The old CrossFit Games points system was used. Each region earned points equal to the placing their representatives/athletes achieved. As an example, Ben Smith, because he belongs to the Atlantic Region, earned the Atlantic Region 1 point in the Mens Division. All athletes’ points from the Atlantic Region were added together for a total points score. The lower the point total, the better.)

The Men

Region Place Total Points
Atlantic Region 1st 64
Central Region 2nd 81
East Region 3rd 83
Meridian Region 4th 97
West Region 5th 115
California Region 6th 121
Pacific Region 7th 128
South Region 8th 131

Atlantic Region men dominated the field. They were led by Ben Smith (1st), Noah Olson (8th), Aaron Hanna (12th), and Elijah Muhammad (16th). 4 of their 5 Games representatives finished in the top 20.

The Women

Region Place Total Points
Pacific Region 1st 62
Meridian Region 2nd 87
California Region 3rd 90
Atlantic Region 4th 95
South Region 5th 100
Central Region 6th 102
West Region 7th 141
East Region 8th 143

The Pacific Region came out on top for the women. They had strong showings from Tia-Clair Toomey (2nd), Kara Webb (5th), Sammy Wood (12th), and Aletha Boon (20th). The Meridian Region would have been higher had it not been for Annie Thorisdottir’s 38th place finish. She was forced to withdraw midway through the competition due to injury. Had she placed in the top 10, like it seemed she might have had she stayed healthy, the Meridian might have finished with 3 women in the top 10. They already laid claim to the 1st and 3rd place spots.

The Teams

Region Place Total Points
Central Region 1st 46
East Region 2nd 69
California Region 3rd 81
Meridian Region 4th 101
West Region 5th 125
Pacific Region 6th 130
Atlantic Region 7th 133
South Region 8th 135

In the Team competition, the Central Region had the most dominating performance of any region in any of the divisions. Their 46 points is the only sub 50 score for any division. All 5 teams in the region finished in the top 20, and 3 of the teams (all from the Central East) finished in the top 10. They were led by none other than CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, Rich Froning’s gym, which took 1st place overall.

Overall

The overall leaderboard combines the placings of each region in each of the divisions. For example, the Central Region placed 2nd in the Mens division, 6th in the Womens division, and 1st in the Team division for a total of 8 points. This leaderboard gives us an idea about the Fittest Region On Earth.

Region Place Total Points
Central Region 1st 8
Meridian Region 2nd 10
Atlantic Region 3rd 12
California Region 4th 12
East Region 5th 13
Pacific Region 6th 14
West Region 7th 17
South Region 8th 21

Led by a strong finish in the Men’s division (2nd) and the Team division (1st), the Central Region takes home the prize of Fittest Region on Earth. Again, that’s Rich Froning’s region. The man can’t lose! The most consistent region, however, was the Meridian Region; they never placed lower than 4th (out of 8) in any of the divisions. By comparison, the West and South Regions suffered mightily at the 2015 Games. In our rankings, the West never earned better than a 5th place finish. The South finished with two last place finishes (Men, Team).

*photo courtesy of Games.CrossFit.com