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.