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WZA Miami

The WZA Strong Experience

By News, WZA Miami

The WZA Strong Experience:
Friends, Competitors, and Business Partners Dominick Maurici and Rafael Paredes

Last year, Wodapalooza introduced WZA Strong, a brand new competition. It was inspired, petitioned for, and run by a CrossFit legend, Rob Orlando. He has been wanting to do something like this for a long time and was absolutely ecstatic about being able to do so this year in Miami. Rob programmed the events and tested them all himself. We asked him if he would have won the competition and he smiled saying he wouldn’t have won, but maybe top five or ten.

As the competition got underway,a variety of shapes and sizes of athletes came in. There were big guys who looked like they could handle heavy farmer’s walks and stones all day, but when it came to large sets of double unders or an AMRAP of muscle ups, might struggle. Then there were smaller guys, no doubt strong, but you still had to wonder how they would cope with a 250 lb atlas stone or an 800 lb yoke.

We picked out an athlete early on who was recognizable from the CrossFit scene, and he was gracious enough to talk with us between events and tell us a bit of his story.

Dominick Maurici was a 6 times regional athlete in the southeast, he finished as high as 5th in 2012. His last Regional competition was in 2016. He has three kids now and primarily does the one hour class workouts at his gym these days. He also works with Rob Orlando for, coordinating strongman seminars in the southeastern United States. When he heard about WZA Strong coming to Miami he called up his business partner and friend, Rafael Paredes,and suggested they sign up.

Maurici owns Caution CrossFit in Hialeah,FL just outside of Miami. Paredes, is the owner and head coach at GMA Crossfit in Pembroke Pines, FL. They co-own Caution Strong which is an online programming platform, which offers programming for athletes in CrossFit, Strongman, or a combination of both.

In events 1-3 Dominick looked like the regional athlete we used to know him as. He repped out 54 reps on a Tabata style, increasing weight, deadlift event, including 9 reps at the final bar which weighed 405 lbs. Then he turned around and ripped out 16 muscle ups in a two minute window to put himself in first place overall after the first round of events. Paredes also did great in the morning events, accumulating 53, 9, and 7 reps respectively on that triplet of workouts.

Watching these two men on the deadlift portion of the event was awe-inspiring, because they both fall into the category of athletes whom you would have thought could crush the muscle ups, but might struggle with the heaviest deadlift bar. Maurici is 5’7” and told us he only weighs 175 lbs these days. Paredes is one inch taller and weighs 5 lbs more. When we asked Dominick about the event mid-way through the day he couldn’t stress enough how great it was to be back on the competition floor, especially here at Wodapalooza, and even more so to be competing alongside his good friend.

As the event went on Dom and Raf continued to do really well even when the weights were heavy. In the double under portion of the event 5 and 6 combo Maurici placed second. In the same combination of events Paredes was incredibly impressive with the atlas stone, which as previously mentioned got as heavy as 250 lbs; he took a 3rd place in that portion of the event.

Heading into the final event, which was an ascending weight yoke carry race, both men were solidly in the top ten, and Maurici had an outside chance to podium. The weights started off light, but eventually got very heavy, building from 260 up to 800 lbs. Both Maurici and Paredes held their own against some much larger men, they finished tied for 6th on that event.

Minutes later the podium was announced and it turned out Maurici had done enough to stand on the podium in 3rd place. Paredes finish 6th overall in the competition. Both men punched well above their weight classes if you ask me.

Maurici said being able to get out there and compete again in this less stressful setting was more than just fun, but also reinvigorating for him. He said he’s going to try and find a way to get more competitions in going forward seeming to have rediscovered his passion for them.

Dominick and Rafael are an example, of which there are countless at Wodapalooza. Thousands of athletes competed in either the Gauntlet, Weightlifting Faceoff, or WZA Strong last year; or in one of the 34 divisions that competed over the subsequent three days of competition. Every athlete has a story, every athlete has a life outside of competition. But the joy, thrill, and the fulfillment that comes with being up there on that stage, that’s the celebration of the hard work we’ve put in, and a validation of that fact that we are all Strong.


Written By Brian Friend


2019-2020 Wodapalooza Season

By News, Online Challenge, Transformation Challenge, WZA Miami

2019-2020 Wodapalooza Season

What’s coming up for Wodapalooza this season?

We truly believe in celebrating fitness, community and life in a variety of ways and bringing an elite experience to each and every member of the WZA Community. From athletes to volunteers, spectators and partners, we’ve got something for everyone!

Stay up to date – WZA Athlete Community

In an effort to continue celebrating fitness, community and life (and keep everyone in the loop!) we started the WZA Community Facebook group as a space to celebrate PRs, get information on the upcoming season, important dates and information and so much more! Make sure you’ve joined our Facebook group to stay up to date on all of the latest and greatest!

Join the Group!



WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier
Indy – August 21st
Team – December 6th

The WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier (WZAOC) is a two-part online workout challenge where athletes from all over the world come together to test their fitness. Choose to compete as an individual or on a team!

Each week, during the Individual Challenge of the WZA Online Challenge and Qualifier, WZA will release workout(s) on Wednesdays at 8pm ET. The WZA Community will have until the following Monday at 8pm ET to complete the workouts and submit their score. For those choosing the Team Challenge, WZA will release 10 workouts, with all workouts and scores due the last day of the challenge.

Athletes looking to compete at WZA Miami should visit the How to Compete page for more information.

Registration Opens July 1st!


WZA Miami
February 20-23rd, 2020

What began as a grassroots 1-day fitness competition with 145 athletes and 500 spectators in 2012, Wodapalooza (WZA) has since established itself as the world’s premier Functional Fitness Festival. The Wodapalooza descends on Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park for 4-days and brings together 3,000+ of athletes and 45,000+ spectators and fitness fanatics to celebrate fitness, community and life.

Tickets available September 23rd

WZA Transformation Challenge
April 27th, 2020

The Wodapalooza Transformation Challenge (WZATC) is an 8-week self-improvement challenge to improve your fitness & health, with guidance in the form of nutritional, exercise and motivational content and support. In the process, participants will have the opportunity to win prizes ranging from cash to trips, to gear, and more! Those attempting to win will be judged based on their progress over the course of the WZATC, established via the “before” & “after” pictures, and their journey. This year, we’re awarding four total winners: one male and one female Overall Winner, and a male and female “People’s Choice Winner.”

Registration opens early 2020!

Introducing… the WZA Demo Team

By News, Online Challenge, WZA Miami

Wanna Join the WZA Demo Team?!

Wodapalooza is amped about the changes to their 2019 Season, and now you can be part of creating the magic of competition behind the scenes.



Last Week, WZA announced changes to this year’s competition, which include the addition of divisions, expansion of others, and minor qualification changes, all in an effort to ensure a fair, safe, competitive and inclusive event. In the spirit of ensuring WZA provides all of the above to competitors, they’re pumped to announce an application process for those who want to be a part of the Testing & Demo Team for the 2019-2020 Season!

What does this mean?

WZA is giving athletes the opportunity to apply to be part of a true team that will commit and be relied upon to help test potential events. Through their results and feedback, they’ll mold what the competition looks like from the online qualification, all the way through the festival in Miami.

Interested in applying?

Click here.

Other Important Details

Athletes should have experience competing (preferably during the WZA Season) but will not be competing during any phase of the WZA 2019-20 season.  Applicants will be selected based on their consistency and performance in certain divisions of competition. We will consider Open placement, previous WZA (Online Challenge and Miami) performances, event experience, etc.  

We are asking for a several month commitment from the testing team.  These athletes will receive tests/workouts directly from our Competition Director and they are expected to leave video, written feedback, etc.

Selected athletes will be considered for our on-site demo team, social media activation, special gifts & discounts from our brand partners, VIP tickets, discounted tickets for their affiliates, compensation for on-site athletes & more.


What are you waiting for?! Apply now!


Who Receives Invites to WZA?

By Online Challenge, WZA Miami

Who Receives Invites to WZA Miami?

Top athletes will be able to bypass the Wodapalooza Online Challenge & Qualifier to compete at Wodapalooza Miami in February. This is based on past Sanctional and CrossFit Games finishes.

Individual Elite

CrossFit Games

    • CrossFit Games 2019: Top 30 Men & Women
    • CrossFit Games Podium, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015: Top 3 Men & Women

CrossFit Open

    • CrossFit Games Open, October 2019: Top 30 Men & Women Worldwide

Sanctional Events

    • Individual Podium at WZA & Granite Games 2019: Top 3 Men & Women
    • Individual Winners at WZA or Granite Games the last five years: 1st Place Men & Women
    • Individual Winner at CFG Sanctional over the last 12 months, from event date
      • Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge 2019
      • CrossFit Italian Showdown 2019
      • Asia CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Reykevic CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Brazil CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Down Under CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Rogue Invitational 2019
      • CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown 2019
      • Granite Games 2019
      • CrossFit French Throwdown 2019
      • Filthy 150 2019
      • Pandaland CrossFit Challenge 2019
      • Dubai CrossFit Championship 2019
      • SouthFit CrossFit Challenge 2019
      • CrossFit Mayhem Classic 2020
      • CrossFit Strength in Depth 2020
      • CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town 2020
      • Norwegian CrossFit Championship 2020

Age Group

    • 1st place 2019 Wodapalooza and/or 2019 CrossFit Games

Please note: 20 spots will be earned via the WZA Indy Online Challenge & Qualifier. If all above invites have been granted and spots are still available, they will be awarded to the next finishers in line via the WZAOC leaderboard. Additionally, athletes who receive invites are still responsible for their registration cost, lodging, travel, etc.

Elite Team of 4 (Co-Ed)

CrossFit Games:

    • Top 10 Teams at the 2019 CrossFit Games

Sanctional Events:

    • 2019 WZA Co-Ed Elite Team of 4 Podium Finishers (1st – 3rd)
    • Previous 1st Place Team Finisher at CrossFit Sanctional during the 2019-2020 season
      • Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge 2019
      • CrossFit Italian Showdown 2019
      • Asia CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Reykevic CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Brazil CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Down Under CrossFit Championship 2019
      • Rogue Invitational 2019
      • CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown 2019
      • Granite Games 2019
      • CrossFit French Throwdown 2019
      • Filthy 150 2019
      • Pandaland CrossFit Challenge 2019
      • Dubai CrossFit Championship 2019
      • SouthFit CrossFit Challenge 2019
      • CrossFit Mayhem Classic 2020
      • CrossFit Strength in Depth 2020
      • CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town 2020
      • Norwegian CrossFit Championship 2020

Please note: 15 spots will be earned via the WZA Team Online Challenge & Qualifier. If all above invites have been granted and spots are still available, they will be awarded to the next finishers in line via the WZAOC leaderboard. Athletes must return with the same 4 athletes, but may use either M/F alternative from their roster. Athletes who receive invites are still responsible for their registration cost, lodging, travel, etc.

The Original Swole and Flexy Athlete

By News, WZA Miami

The Original Swole and Flexy Athlete

Written by Kristen Chandler Toth

It’s a common CrossFit story. The former high school athlete looking for fitness as an adult finds a random website in 2006. Watches fuzzy instructional videos and teaches him- or herself weightlifting and gymnastics and then experiences the thrill, success, and devastation of this thing called intensity. Does that for a few years then hits the plateau of immobility. Squat snatches and a good front rack position seem impossible for the garage-gym athlete and niggling injuries start to pop up.

It’s not surprising that a man with that kind of normal-within-CrossFit story is the co-founder of ROMWOD, a program of daily stretching routines that targets the specific mobility issues that CrossFitters run into. Jeremiah Head, a former teacher and volleyball coach, was that 30-something athlete looking for fitness in his garage who found CrossFit but hit a wall and needed help. Luckily, he found guidance in his own family as his brother Daniel, a well-known vinyasa yoga teacher, stepped in to guide Jeremiah towards becoming the original “Swole and Flexy” athlete.

When Jeremiah left teaching to become a full-time CrossFit coach he started training more. He and his wife Tiffany opened a small CrossFit box in order to cross-train his volleyball team. And he said, “I couldn’t afford a membership at a CrossFit gym, so we just opened our own tiny gym.” Eventually that gym grew into what is now Parakaleo CrossFit in Redlands, CA.

“I started dabbling with competition programming, just to see. And then the 2015 qualifiers for the Wodapalooza came up,” remembered Jeremiah.

He barely made it into the Master’s division. Jeremiah and his wife came to Miami to compete.

“I had the time of my life. The Wodapalooza atmosphere was super fun and something I wanted to keep trying to do,” he said.

As he continued training with higher volume, Jeremiah realized that he really liked competing in CrossFit, but he couldn’t do half the movements, because he couldn’t get into the full positions. As a former competitive high-school and college athlete, Jeremiah had stiffness and old injuries to work through. His squat snatch numbers were lower than what he wanted and he’d hit a plateau in his training because he couldn’t progress to higher weights with things like overhead squats. Advanced gymnastics were out of the question for him, even though he was by then, a seasoned CrossFitter.

Lucky for Jeremiah, in stepped his brother Daniel who happened to know a thing or two about stretching and mobility. Daniel, who in addition to being a yoga instructor had a degree in kinesiology and a background in martial arts. He wasn’t into CrossFit like his brother, but he was happy to help Jeremiah. Daniel prescribed a series of yoga positions to help improve mobility. Daniel’s martial arts experience introduced him to yin-style yoga stretches, where an athlete holds a single pose for several minutes, increasing the stretch as time ticks away.

“I was the original test-monkey for ROMWOD. Daniel would give me a series of stretches to do to target my shoulder tightness or help me get to the bottom of the squat. I would do that for a week or so and then he would give me a different series of stretches.”

Jeremiah found a lot of success with the routine Daniel prescribed for him. Slowly he saw his ability to get in certain positions increase. Movements that were formerly out of the question became accessible. At age 40, Jeremiah did his first muscle-up and handstand push-up.

Because of the success Daniel and Jeremiah found with the mobility routines that Daniel wrote for his for his brother, they shared it with other local athletes. They started sharing their routines with competitive CrossFit Regional and Games athletes in the area. They sponsored their first athlete, Wes Piatt and then Miami’s own Noah Ohlsen. In order to share their ideas with the world, they needed a bigger platform. Seminars reach coaches, but they wanted to reach all of the CrossFit athletes, across the world.

Coming from the yoga scene, Daniel was familiar with the subscription models available online for yogis. He and Jeremiah translated their stretching routines, which were targeted at the specific mobility issues that CrossFitters regularly encounter, turning them into a series of sessions available to subscribers online. The brothers adopted the concept of Workout of the Day (WOD) that was focused on increasing Range of Motion (ROM) and voila, ROMWOD as we know was born. It’s founders were Daniel along with his wife Shawna, and Jeremiah and his wife, Tiffany.

As for the tag line “Swole and Flexy,” Jeremiah, the owner of a Jeep with the SWLFLXY license plate, takes credit for that.

“We were doing our first photo shoot with our Games athletes and I said they were both swole and flexy. We all laughed and I hash tagged it on a social media post,” he said.

Jeremiah has continued competing in the Masters divisions at Wodapalooza every year since 2015. He is one of those athletes that appears to be reversing the aging process.

“Last year I was able to bring my kids and ended up 3rd overall in my division. Hearing my family cheer for me and showing them what is possible with hard work makes it all worth it,” said Jeremiah.

Today Jeremiah earned his best finish at WZA – 2nd place in the Masters 40-44 division. His family made T-shirts and are here in Miami, supporting him wholeheartedly.

Tiffany, Jeremiah, Noah, Mackenzie, and Madison

“It’s cool to watch the process,” said Jeremiah’s daughter Mackenzie. “When we were young he was just working out in the garage, but now look at him here on this stage. We are so proud of him.”

Teams of 4 Take Miami

By News, WZA Miami

Teams of 4 Take Miami

Written by Brian Friend

The WZA Elite Team of 4 Competition is a Must Watch Event

The new CrossFit Games Team format allows for athletes from anywhere to come together and compete in the Sanctioned events for an opportunity to earn an invitation to the Games in Madison this August. The depth of the field at Wodapalooza is what the CrossFit community has been waiting years to see; even if they haven’t known it. Thirteen teams will take the floor in Miami, and collectively it might end up being the deepest, strongest, field of athletes we’ll see in a team competition at any point this year, including at the Games.

Of the 52 athletes who will be on the competition floor 26 of them (half the field!)  have previously qualified for the Games individually, 18 others have been to the Games as part of a Team, and the other 8 each have Regional experience. There is not a single inexperienced, or unqualified athlete in this field.

There was no qualifier for the elite co-ed teams of 4 in Miami, instead, teams were invited to send a resume to our competition directors and were then selected to be in this elite field. The field of teams competing in Wodapalooza is the most talented field we’ve ever seen. However, come Sunday, only one team can claim a ticket to Madison. These are three teams to keep an eye on throughout the weekend.

WZA Teams to Watch

The field of teams competing in Wodapalooza is the most talented field we’ve ever seen. However, come Sunday, only one team can claim a ticket to Madison. These are three teams to keep an eye on throughout the weekend.

CrossFit Mayhem Freedom

Four-time individual champion, three-time team champion, and nine-time podium finisher Rich Froning brings a lot of clout to the competition,. A major question many had once the new format was revealed is whether Rich would recruit teammates from outside Mayhem. Rich has a ton of qualities that draw people to him, but the one that shines through? Loyalty.

This man likely could have asked anyone around the world to join his team, but he’ll be taking the floor with people he knows and trains with every day. Tasia Persevecz returns from the team that won at the Games last summer. Kristin Miller, who had previously been on CrossFit Mayhem Independence will be replacing Lindy Barber. And Dre Strohm, a long time regional athlete who many also might know as the ‘fittest cameraman on the planet’ will be on the other side of the lens at last as he takes the floor stepping in with the absence of Matt Hewett.

Team Misfit

When it comes to team competition it’s been known for some time that capable men can get you so far, but without elite level women alongside them, teams will falter in the end. Team MisFit has the women to help put them in contention at Wodapalooza.

Chyna Cho (6 times CF Games athlete) and McKenzie Riley (3 times CF Games athlete) have more than just individual experience at the CF Games, they are both regulars at Wodapalooza. Chyna, who historically has competed in the elite women’s team division, has been on the winning team for two straight years in Miami. McKenzie was on the podium last year in the individual competition where she took third.

Jordan Cook (3 times Games athlete) and Chandler Smith (whose team just took second place in Dubai) have plenty of experience, strength, and ability to compliment the women on this team be in contention throughout the weekend.

Team Lesser Evil (Invictus)

The champions from Dubai had already committed to competing in Wodapalooza and will indeed be showing up to throw down in Miami. With all the pressure off their backs having already secured a ticket to the CrossFit Games it will be both fun and exciting, to watch this team featuring Lauren Fisher, Rasmus Andersen, Regan Huckaby, and Tommy Vinas compete against this deep and talented field.

If there were ever a team competition to follow or get excited about, Wodapalooza is that event.

WZA Kicks Off Season for Age Groups

By News, WZA Miami

WZA Kicks Off Season for Age Groups

Written by Brian Friend

As the sport of fitness has continued to evolve, so have the arenas in which we, as fans of the sport, get to appreciate the incredible capacity, strength, and persistence of the best athletes. The top individual men and women get the most headlines, but frequently, the most impressive feats are reserved for some of the other divisions; specifically the Masters and the Teens.

Despite the new format in place this season, all familiar age groups will continue to be present at the Games. However, this year in each division, only 10 athletes, rather than 20, will qualify. Wodapalooza is the first event of the season in which we get a chance to see some of these athletes compete; and you know they’ll be sizing each other up heading into the Open and the Age Group Online Qualifier.


For both the men and women, there are five divisions of Masters athletes competing in Miami (35-39, 40-444, 45-49, 50-54, and 55+). On the Men’s side of things there are 18 past Games competitors across all divisions and for the women there are 15. The depth of experience here insures a great competition.

Jeff Dempsey and Patrick McCarty (50-54) as well as Mike Kern (40-44) lead the way with three Games appearances each. Stuart Swanson (55+) and David Johnston (40-44) are the only athletes coming off top 5 Games finishes last year. Most competitors, across all these divisions will see this as an opportunity to assert themselves as top contenders for the year.

There are five women competing in Miami who each have at least three years experience at the CrossFit Games as a Masters athlete: Colleen Fahey and Litsa Olsson (55+), Cynthia Truax and Trisha Beauperthuy (50-54), and Aida Koepplinger (40-44). Then there’s the 45-49 year old division which does not have a single athlete with Games experience in it. With a good blend of the old and the new, all divisions feature exciting competition.

Colleen Fahey


The teenagers have two divisions each (13-15 and 16-18). Nearly half of the teens (29 of 63) have previous experience at the CrossFit Games.

Among the girls competing, the top 6 girls form the 14-15 year old division at last years Games will be in Miami making for what is essentially a rematch and an opportunity to see if any of the others has caught up to defending champ Olivia Sulek, who trains out of ESF CrossFit in Ohio.

In the older girls division many of the top athletes have aged out leaving the door open for athletes like Mikaela Senkus, Faith Ferguson, and Ellie Kerstetter who were 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively last year at the Games to assert themselves as the new top girl in the division.

Lastly it’s notable that Ellie’s sister, Olivia Kerstetter, at 13 years old will be in the younger division. We’ve seen several pairs of brothers over the years in CrossFit, but it’s rare to see sisters at the top level. It will be fun to keep an eye on these two as they get older to see if they might become the first set of elite individual sisters in Games history.

Olivia Kerstetter

The boys side of things is opposite to the girls. In the younger division there are only two returning games athletes in Brynjar Ari Magnusson from Iceland, and Julian Rodriguez of Venezuela. The top qualifier, David Bradley from CrossFit 30004, will be looking to establish himself as the one to beat in this division early on this season.


The 16-18 year old division features both of the CrossFit Games Teenage champions from last year. Defending his title, Dallin Pepper, now welcomes fellow champion Tudor Magda, (who won in the 14-15 year old category, but has aged up) to the division. Accompanying them are Dylan Klade and Noah Casey (3rd and 6th respectively at the Games last season), as well as William Kearney out of Gladstone Australia, where at only 18, he’s the head coach. Oh, and you might be familiar with Gladstone, Australia…that’s where Tia-Clair Toomey happens to be from.

Dallin Pepper

The Masters and Teenage divisions are always fun to watch. It’s incredible to see young kids, as well as the older generations, showing us that fitness is not bound by age. Whether you’re in Miami, or following along online, don’t ignore these divisions, some of the biggest athletic accomplishments and inspiration can be found here.

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.