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Promising Young Athletes Compete at WZA

By News, WZA Miami

Promising Young Athletes Compete at WZA

Written by Brian Friend

These young athletes aren’t well-known names yet, but with their impressive performances in recent years it’s only a matter of time. The new Sanctionals™ format gives them that opportunity, and they’ll all be in Miami for Wodapalooza to showcase the hard work they’ve been putting in. The men and women featured here have been improving for years and are establishing themselves as elite competitors in this new, exciting CrossFit season.

He just turned 23, but Ryan Reeves already has our attention. He’s the owner of Shockoe Bottom CrossFit in Virginia. He relentlessly pursues his education and evolution as both a coach and an athlete. He qualified for the Atlantic Regional the last two years where he finished 32nd in 2017 and improved to 22nd last year. He finished 6th overall in the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier, and he has some impressive lifting numbers posted; a 355-pound clean and jerk, 290-pound snatch.

Justin Medeiros is the youngest competitor by a considerable margin in the men’s elite field this year. At 19 years old he’s already qualified for Regionals twice. Two years ago he placed 15th at the California Regional, and this past year he was 14th in the West. He has the ideal build for a CrossFitter at 5’9” and 190 lbs. He finished 10th in the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier. He trains at Another Level CrossFit in Boise, Idaho, and seems ready to challenge the competition.

CompTrain athlete Logan Southard is a 2x Regional athlete already despite being only 23 years old. In 2017 he competed with CrossFit Dwala taking 9th in the Atlantic Regional. Last year he went individual and placed 16th. He’s been consistently improving in the CrossFit Open, and all signs are pointing to that trend continuing. He was 15th in the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier, so it might be tough for him to crack the top half of this elite field, but with young athletes like Logan, the experience is often more valuable than what place you finish.

Chantelle Loehner is 26 years old and follows CrossFit Invictus programming. Last year she placed 14th overall in the CrossFit Open. She qualified for the Central Regional the last two years as an individual and competed three years ago on a team (Plymouth CrossFit). Last month she competed at the Dubai CrossFit Championship where she took 12th place. She was 8th in the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier. She’s pretty good in the water and will have a realistic chance of cracking the top ten overall come Sunday.

At 27 years old, Talyor Streid is the oldest athlete featured on this list, but everything is trending in the right direction for her. She’s qualified for the Central Regional the last three years, and this past season she finished 7th in the Region, missing a Games spot by only 18 points. She was 6th in the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier and, like Chantelle, has a serious chance to threaten the top 10 in Miami.

Although Keston Mendoza is only 24 years old, she has already competed in 6 CrossFit Opens. A Texas transplant living in California, she’s qualified for Regionals each of the last three years, where her best finish was 12th in 2016. She snuck into this field finishing 18th in the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier, but will be looking to place higher than that once the competition kicks off in Miami.

The big names we know, but these up and comers fill out the competition with fresh faces and new talents that will be fun to follow. With so much young talent competing at WZA, the Elite division at the first American Sanctional™ is definitely one to watch.

Tia Clair Toomey

Who will stop Toomey in Miami?

By News, WZA Miami

Who will stop Toomey in Miami?

Written by Brian Friend

Second. Second. First. First.

Not much else needs to be said when it comes to Tia-Clair Toomey.

Toomey at Pacific Regional


At 25 years-old, she’s got quite the rap sheet. In the last 3 years at the Games, in a total of 42 events, she’s taken 1st place 6x, 2nd place 7x, and 3rd place 4x. That means against the best female CrossFitter’s in the world she finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd over 40% of the time.

But this will be Tia’s first trip to Miami and the first event she will compete in since the new format has been announced. So that begs the question, who is going to give Tia a challenge on the competition floor?


Who Are the Challengers?

First and foremost, you have to look at Sara Sigmundsdottir. Although she had to withdraw from the Games this past August, the three previous years she finished 4th, 3rd, and 3rd. A month ago she competed in Dubai against some of the other top women in the sport, and although she took third place behind Sam Briggs and Jamie Greene, Sara was only 12 points behind Briggs for the top podium spot.


Sara at European Regional


Over the last three years Kari Pearce has established herself as the top American female CrossFitter, she’s a threat in any competition she enters. She also has previous experience at WZA having podiumed twice (3rd place in 2016 and 2nd place last year). Kari has qualified as an individual at the CrossFit Games each of the last four years. In the last three years she’s consistently been in the top 10.


Kari by Jay


Norway’s Kristin Holte has never been lower than 21st worldwide. The last 4 years in the CrossFit Open, she consistently qualifies out of the most competitive female Region in the world. She won the Meridian Regional in 2017, she’s been to five consecutive CrossFit Games as an individual, and she’s taken 7th place in back to back years in Madison. Kristin deserves to be mentioned alongside the elite women in the sport, and at Wodapalooza she’ll have yet another chance to prove herself.


Holte at Regionals


Close races and tight finishes have come to characterize the elite women’s competition within CrossFit, and fans can count on 2-time Games Champ Tia-Clair Toomey to turn up the heat in south Florida. Many of the best female athletes from around the world will descend on Miami, where they will make sure the spots on top of the podium are not easily won.

Get Ready For an Epic Showdown in Miami

By News, WZA Miami

Get Ready For an Epic Showdown in Miami


As the second CrossFit sanctioned event of the season approaches all eyes are narrowing in on Miami. If you’re familiar with Wodapalooza, you already know that it’s a fitness-focused, community event with a festival-like atmosphere, nearly 40 competition divisions, and has no shortage of incredible events and speakers making it the premier event for fitness enthusiasts around the world. However, at the end of the weekend, one man, one woman, and one team will stand atop the elite divisions of the podium having earned an invitation to the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin.



Noah Ohlsen has become synonymous with Wodapalooza. He’s from Miami and has competed there every year since 2012. He won the elite division for three consecutive years from 2015-2017 before having some fun last year competing in the men’s elite division with friends and training partners, Travis Mayer and Will Moorad. That trio took second place. This year, Noah returns to the individual elite division with his eyes set on reclaiming the title at his hometown competition, and of course, earning that coveted ticket to Madison.


Pat Vellner


Patrick Vellner has never competed at Wodapalooza before and will be a serious threat to prevent Noah from reclaiming his spot atop that podium come Sunday evening. In three years competing as an individual at the CrossFit Games he’s finished third, third, and second. Noah qualified for the Games in each of those years and has never finished ahead of Pat. So the real question might be, is there any reason to believe Noah can beat Pat?


The answer is yes.


In 42 total events at the Games over those three years, Pat has placed ahead of Noah in 26 of them. However, last year the split was only 8-6 in favor of Pat, and the year before that it was even tighter with Pat edging Noah 7-6 across 13 scored events.



Looking at previous WZA workouts, we can assume that one of them will include swimming, and on the swimming events the last three years Noah has gotten the better of Pat:


2018 Madison Triplus: Pat was 21st, Noah was 12th

2017 Run Swim Run: Pat was 36th, Noah was 8th

2016 Ocean Swim: Pat was 35th, Noah was 8th


With such a small sample size, Noah having a decided edge on at least one event, and the added bonus of competing in his home city where he is both comfortable and extremely well supported, fans and spectators have every right to expect a heated battle between these two top performers throughout the weekend in Miami.

Dropping In: WZA Miami Edition

By News, WZA Miami

Dropping In: WZA Miami Edition

Looking to hit up a gym while you’re in Miami for Wodapalooza? Look no further than some of our Community Partner’s premier facilities:


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CrossFit Wynwood

56 NE 29th St, Miami, FL 33137


Class Schedule:
Mon.-Thur. – 6:15a, 7:15a, 8:15a, 9:30a, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p, 7:30p
Fri. – 6:15a, 7:15a, 8:15a, 9:30a, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p
Sat. – 10 & 11a

Open Gym Schedule:
Mon.-Fri. – 10:30a to 4:15p
Sun. – 10:30a to 12:30p

Drop-In Pricing:
Class – $25; w/ T-shirt – $40
Open Gym – $15/hr; w/ T-shirt – $35



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CrossFit Soul


8354 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155

Class Schedule:
Mon.-Thur. – 6:00a, 9:00a, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p, 7:30p
Fri. – Sun. – Closed

Open Gym Schedule:
Mon.-Thur. – 7:00a – 8:30p
Fri.-Sun. – Closed

Drop-In Pricing:
Class or Open Gym – $20





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CrossFit Zoom


1910 NW 96th Ave, Doral, FL 33172

Class Schedule:
Mon.- Fri. – 6:00a, 8:45a, 10:00a, 4:00p, 5:00p, 6:00p, 7:00p
Sat. – 10:30a

Open Gym Schedule:
Mon.-Fri. – 6:00a to 8:00p

Drop-In Pricing:
Class or Open Gym – $25 + T-shirt

WZA Sanctional Partnerships

By News, WZA Miami

WZA Sanctional Partnerships

We’re excited to announce our partnerships with other sanctioned events in an effort to support the CrossFit Sanctional system and provide WZA athletes with more opportunities to qualify for the CrossFit Games.


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WZA + Fittest in Cape Town






The CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town event seeks to bring the community together to support each other equally as much they compete against each other.

Individual Elite Division athletes finishing 2nd & 3rd place at 2019 WZA will receive a “Wild Card” spot to compete at the CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town 10 days later!







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WZA + Brazil CrossFit Championship




The top five Individual Elite & 1st place Elite Team of Four at 2019 WZA, will earn a “second chance” at qualifying for the CrossFit Games, by automatically earning a spot to compete in Brazil in May 2019.

To be confirmed, athletes must post their acceptance of their invitation on social media by January 22nd, 2019.

We look forward to continued collaboration between sanctioned events, as we all continue on the journey to find the fittest athletes to send to Madison together.

WZA Gauntlet

6 Reasons You Should Run the Gauntlet

By News, WZA Miami

6 Reasons You Should Run the Gauntlet

Written by Kristen Chandler Toth

The expression “to run the gauntlet” means to put yourself through a series of tests or tasks. These sequential tests don’t usually cause serious injuries, just a little bearable pain, a feeling most CrossFitters are familiar with. Often the rituals associated with running a gauntlet are sought after by the runner as a sign of acceptance into a more prestigious group.

What more prestigious group to gain acceptance into than the star-studded group of athletes competing at Wodapalooza Miami? In order to run through the CrossFit-style Gauntlet at WZA Miami ,you have one hour to complete three consecutive workouts, with fellow competitors by your side.

On the Thursday before the 3-day competition starts, WZA Miami will host a condensed CrossFit competition- open to everyone: spectators, volunteers, locals and fans from far away. There are three different divisions, so you’ll be able to find a competitive level perfect for where you are on your fitness journey.

WZA Gauntlet

1- It’s Fast and Furious.

Get the thrill of competing at Wodapalooza without having to compete for 3 days. A long-weekend of competition can be intense, intimidating, and a serious time commitment. The Gauntlet is an hour of intensity that gives you the opportunity to test yourself in 3 different types of WODs. You’ll find yourself in a familiar test of strength, a classic CrossFit couplet (or triplet?) and one more workout to round out the hour. If the 3-day WZA Miami competition is a marathon, the Gauntlet is a 5K. Challenging, accessible, and fun for everyone. Accessible, but still an incredible challenge and a great amount of fun without the commitment to a months-long train up program.

Athletes will sign up for a time of day and get assigned a specific time to compete. No waiting around all day wondering when your heat is up. Get in, work hard, and finish fast.

WZA Gauntlet

2- Compete where the Champs compete.

Climb the same ropes, pull-up on the same rig, train on the same stage where the best athletes in the sport have competed. The all-star photographers that capture epic shots of professional athletes will be grabbing shots of your PR lift or your final push at the end of the metcon. You might even be featured on WZA Miami’s social media.  

The Gauntlet is your opportunity to glimpse the glory of throwing down at one of the biggest CrossFit competitions in the world. This sprint-length competition will be held on Flagler Stage. It’s intimate enough for your friends to be able to cheer you on and take videos for the Gram, but it will be decked out in true Wodapalooza style. What better backdrop to take on your first competition or your fiftieth?

3- Experience the professional management of one of the best-run comps in the world.

The experienced organization of WZA Miami is top notch. For first time competitors, there’s no better way to encounter a CrossFit competition than to jump into one of the best. For veteran competitors: how great to benefit from the smooth operations of a well-oiled machine. It’s like being able to run the Boston Marathon without having to, you know, run the actual race, or even qualify. The team of professionals that organizes and coordinates over two-thousand athletes competing in 39 different divisions will be the same team that sets up the Gauntlet and makes sure each athlete has the best experience possible.

4- Earn your chill

You are probably going to fitness at some point in the weekend. Instead of dropping into a box on Thursday, why not get 3 WODs in during the time of one class? Think of how much more relaxed and triumphant you will feel sitting back to watch the big dogs throwdown knowing you’ve already put forth a serious effort?

The thrill of watching stellar athletes compete motivates people to get moving. Watching the elites perform movements we know and love to hate always inspires. Seeing a woman lift unimaginable weight with ease and confidence encourages us to get back to the gym and try a little harder, focus a little more. You’ll get to compete, then feel the camaraderie with those elites, being able to understand the stress of competition and the strain of doing multiple high-intensity workouts in a row.

And extra benefit, if you throw down at the Gauntlet, you’ll get to CrossFit before watching the competition, so you can kick back and enjoy your post-workout carbs or cheat day while watching the some of the Fittest on Earth battle for a spot to the 2019 CrossFit Games.

WZA Gauntlet

5- For the Competitive CrossFitter: Grab this second chance, and feel the rush of adrenaline push you to a new PR

Maybe you missed out on getting a spot to compete in the full Wodapalooza Miami competition this year. The Gauntlet is your second chance to battle for the respect of being one of the best at WZA Miami. The quick turnover between workouts will challenge even the fittest and let you demonstrate your ability to recover and continue grinding. We all know the thrill of an adrenaline rush when something is on the line in the middle of a workout. Whether it’s the Open, Friday Night Lights, or a local road race, something changes when we put ourselves out there. Let the flutter of competition propel you to a new strength personal record, or to cycle your movements a little faster. It is hard to push yourself to new limits everyday, so let the crowd at the Gauntlet inspire you to chase down new challenges and get a little taste of the WZA Miami magic in order to motivate you for next year.

WZA Gauntlet

6- For the non-competitive CrossFitter: Get out of your bubble and challenge yourself.

We aren’t all naturally competitive. Surely there is something about CrossFitters that drives us to conquer goals and reach for new ones. But we aren’t all natural born athletes, and some of us are not outgoing enough to voluntarily get on a stage. But what if there was a chance for you to compete with a little less pressure, while still feeling the rush of adrenaline that comes when you put your fitness to the test? What if you could stand on the same stage as the elites, and perform the same movements, do your very best, and find your own victory? This year at Wodapalooza you have that chance! The Intermediate and Scaled divisions offer something for everyone.

Do it, Run the Gauntlet!

Whether you are looking for a chance to prove yourself to your gym buddies, to test your limits, to try out the big stage, or you just want an excuse to down some guiltless treats, come throw down with us at the first ever Wodapalooza Gauntlet. Then sit back and watch the pros, not just as a spectator, but, as a fellow competitor.

What is the WWF?

By News, WZA Miami

What is the WWF?

A weightlifting competition like you’ve never seen before.

Under the lights of WZA Miami, on Biscayne Bay, the WZA Weightlifting Faceoff (WWF) takes weightlifting to a whole new level in bracketed, head-to-head format. Thursday, January 17, 2019, athletes will be challenged in an opening round with the snatch, and after a brief reset, the clean & jerk.

The athlete with the higher Sinclair total advances in the bracket. Round two features just the snatch, the semi-finals, the clean and jerk, and the finals, at night under the lights, will feature both lifts again.




In order to compete in the WZA Weightlifting Faceoff, athletes must submit their application in one of two ways:


1- Submit video weighing yourself and then performing a max snatch and clean and jerk


2- Submit a total from a USA Weightlifting Sanctioned event


Don’t miss this opportunity to compete on the big stage, complete with WZA Miami flare, against some of the best in the sport. It’s the ultimate “David meets Goliath” event, where everyone has an equal chance at the top prize!


Visit the WWF page for all the info on how to register!


How Many Teams Qualify For WZA Miami?

By News, Online Challenge

How Many Teams Qualify For WZA Miami?

You’re registered and ready to go for the WZA Online Team Challenge & Qualifier. But what are your chances of qualifying?




For the Online Challenge, athletes will complete 10 workouts over 10 days, all released between November 2nd & 3rd, 2018. Registration ends the same day scores are due, November 12th at 8p ET.

Athletes don’t have to be from the same gym, city, state, or country, and don’t even have to perform the Online Challenge workouts in the same gym at the same time.

However, if you earn a spot to compete in Miami, all three will compete together across all three days.

Didn’t qualify? Don’t worry…your journey does not stop here! Consider competing at WZA Miami through Open Registration or joining the WZA Community as a spectator for the most epic fitness festival in Miami this January.

Jacob Heppner Does The Impossible

By News, Online Challenge

Jacob Heppner Does The Impossible

He’s back! This week Jacob Heppner, completes WOD 7 of the 2018 WZA Indy Challenge in it’s entirety. They said it couldn’t be done…but he proved us wrong!


2018 WZAOC – Indy WOD 7

Every 2 minutes on the 2 minutes complete: 
8 burpee box jump overs
8 power snatches
8 thrusters

Time Cap: 60 minutes

WZA Donates 10% of WZAOC Registrations to Barbells for Boobs

By News, Online Challenge

WZA Donates 10% of WZAOC Registrations to Barbells for Boobs


1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. This statistic is huge, scary, and very real.

Wodapalooza believes in Barbells for Boobs’ mission to mobilize and empower people to take action in breast cancer. That’s why for the rest of October,

WZA is donating 10% of all WZAOC Team registration fees to Barbells for Boobs.

At our core, we celebrate fitness, community, and life. We support our community through our partnership with Barbells for Boobs.

Breast cancer is black and white. You either have it or you don’t. Barbells for Boobs is helping people take action with their breast health. They help people get screened and improve their quality of life post-diagnosis through health and fitness.

Everyone has a RIGHT to know if they are living with breast cancer.