2023 CrossFit Games: Women’s Power Rankings

July 31, 20237 min read

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The women’s competition is slated to take place from Thursday, August 3 through Sunday, August 6. There will be two days of competition before an initial cut down to 30. There will be an additional day of competition for those 30 women, then a final cut down to 20. The top-20 women will then finish the competition on Sunday

Five of the top ten, and nine of the top 20 women from the 2022 CrossFit Games are not competing in Madison this year. That means big opportunities for several women to have career-best and career-defining finishes this season.

The Top Ten:

1Laura Horvath
2Annie Thorisdottir
3Gabriela Migala
4Danielle Brandon
5Emma Lawson
6Emma Cary
7Alexis Raptis
8Katrin Davidsottir
9Amanda Barnhart
10Jamie Simmonds

Horvath’s to Lose

It feels like this is Laura Horvath’s year. She is, and should be, the favorite given her pedigree at the Games (two seconds places finishes and a third in the three traditional years she’s competed). None of the women who have beaten her in those seasons are the field (Tia-Clair Toomey all three times, Mallory O’Brien last year). 

All-European Podium

I’m going with an all European Podium including two-time Games champion (2011 and 2012) Annie Thorisdottir, who is incredibly still very relevant in the conversation amongst the best in the world. And European Semifinal winner Gabriela Migala, who I expect to have a huge bounce back year after doing worse (8th) in 2022 than she did in 2021 (6th).

Teenage Presence

Two teenagers, both named Emma, are likely top-ten candidates. Lawson did so last year, finishing 6th as a rookie and should have similar success this season. Cary won the extremely competitive North America East Semifinal (five women from that competition are in my top ten picks) and will be looking to secure her first top-ten individual Games finish.

Returning Veterans

Two well known women in the sport who were not at the Games last year, Katrin Davidsdottir and Jamie Simmonds, make it into my top picks here. Davidsdottir seems like the slightly better bet than Simmonds, but I like both of them once we get to Games style programming. 

Barnhart Bounces Back

Amanda Barnhart had three-straight top-ten Games finishes prior to last season when she took 14th. She looked amazing at Semis, seems to be thriving with HWPO, and is set up for a push back into the top-ten this year. 

Spots 11-20

Paige Powers Games 2022 4 copy

Photo Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

11Karin Freyova
12Arielle Loewen
13Ellie Turner
14Paige Powers
15Bethany Flores
16Emma McQuaid
17Emily Rolfe
18Alex Gazan
19Matilde Garnes
20Emma Tall

Four More From Europe

Everyone who reads our stuff should know about the relative strength of the European women’s field to their number of qualifying spots. Despite the worldwide ranking and strength of field allocations, it didn’t reward them any more spots this year. As they’ve done every year since 2015, we expect more than 80% of their qualifiers in the top half of the field. 

More Veterans Making a Comeback

Bethany Flores is perhaps the biggest wildcard in the field. However, if her back holds up, she is incredibly fit and should find her way into the top-20. 

Emily Rolfe was at the Games last year, but only lasted one event due to a blood clot in her arm. She was 15th the year before and 18th in 2019. She has top-15 potential and yet most people aren’t talking about her. 

Spots 21-30

Victoria Campos Games 2022 2

Photo Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

21Christine Kolenbrander
22Manon Angonese*
23Paige Semenza
24Feeroozeh Saghafi
25Baylee Rayl
26Olivia Kerstetter*
27Elisa Fuliano
28Shelby Neal*
29Seher Kaya
30Victoria Campos

First Rookies Show Up

Athletes with an * after their name are rookies at the 2023 CrossFit Games. So far I haven’t projected any inside the top half of the Games field. The first three show up here with Belgium’s Manon Angonese leading the way at a projected 22nd place finish. Teenage sensation Olivia Kerstetter checks in next. While Shelby Neal, who was seemingly good enough last season if not for the legless rope climb workout, brings a lot of intrigue as a sneaky possible top rookie in the women’s field.

Surviving the Cut

The initial cut will be on Friday night and remove the bottom-ten competitors at that point. So, if any of these women aren’t in the top 30 by then, they’ll have no chance to move up. In essence that means everyone ahead of here are my picks to make it to Saturday, while everyone low would see their competition end much sooner than they would like. 

Spots 31-40

Michelle Basnett Games 2021 1

Photo Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

31Ella Wunger*
32Michelle Basnett
33Sydney Wells*
34Abigail Domit*
35Rebecka Vitesson*
36Alexia Williams*
37Caroline Stanley*
38Emily De Rooy*
39Kelly Baker*
40Shahad Budebs

Mostly Rookies

Eight of these ten are rookies, leaving Michelle Basnett (2021) and Shahad Budebs (2019) as the only veterans amongst this group. In the last five seasons that had 40 women (2016-2018 and 2021-2022) there have never been eight rookies in the bottom 10. It is likely that a few among them will outperform these projections, as that happens every year. Part of the excitement in having a 20 to 25 % turnover rate every year is finding out who amongst them is about to break through.

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.


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