Assessing the Depth of Field: North American East Women

April 2, 202410 min read

Image Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

Last week we featured the European Men as we begin to display how much of a premium there are in certain competitive regions for Semifinal spots. In both North America and Europe this is the lowest number of available spots we have seen for Semis in the Quarterfinals era. In fact, in the case of North America, it’s the lowest number ever. 

To put it in perspective:

  • In 2014 across 12 region a total of 430 women in North America advanced to Regionals
  • In 2018 across 6 regions a total of 200 women in North America qualified for Regionals
  • In 2024 across two regions a total of 80 women in North America will advance to Semis

Half of those spots will be in the North America East competitive region, which is where our attention will be this week. 

Last Years Games Athletes

Last year through the World Wide Ranking and D’Hondt distribution method for strength of field the women in the NA East field earned 11 total qualifying spots to the CrossFit Games; 10 of those women will be back competing in the East this year: 

2023 SFs2023 Qualifiers2023 QFs2024 Open
1Emma Cary3DNC
2Danielle Brandon74
3Amanda Barnhart880
4Emma Lawson512
5Alexis Raptis627
6Paige Powers1316
7Sydney Wells1040
8Feeroozeh Saghafi96
9Shelby Neal1910
10Caroline Stanley1123
11Paige Semenza1515

With Emma Cary out of the season this year, clearly there is one open spot amongst this group. However, with Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr competing in the East this year, the “open” spot is as good as spoken for.

Looking elsewhere we know Barnhart is not competing at 100%, but it’s unclear exactly where her competitive capacity lies as she works her way back from a torn labrum at last year’s CrossFit Games. 

Other than than, the entirety of last year’s Games qualifiers amongst the NA East women have strong online qualifier performances that we would expect to yield another appearance at the NA East Semis this season. 

Other Serious Contenders

As always, there are a host of athletes who will be looking to unseat last year’s qualifiers, and in the East, for the women, this is quite a formidable group:

Athlete2023 SFs2023 QFs2024 Open (NA East)
Anikha Greer1241
Jordan Szewc131469
Brooke Wells1421639
Carolyne Prevost15262
Ashleigh Wosny164142
Lydia Fish433250
Baylee Rayl Christophel9th West*11th West18
Freya Moosbrugger33rd West13th West7
Brittany Weiss1st Team West*1st Team West20
Tia-Clair Toomey-OrrDNCDNC2610
Haley AdamsDNCDNC33

*2023 CFG Qualifier

With the removal of Cary, this group gets us to 21 athletes we expect to not only be at the NA East Semis (assuming healthy through Quarters), but also to be in the mix for a Games spot. Keep in mind that of the 21 women already mentioned here, at least 9 of them (12 seems like the maximum number they will earn this season) are guaranteed NOT to make it to the 2024 CrossFit Games. 

  • Haley Adams despite taking a year off, it’s hard to imagine her not qualifying given her resume and competitive history. 
  • Brooke Wells is in a very similar situation to Barnhart, with a torn labrum and an element of uncertainty surrounding her competitive capacity heading into the critical qualifying stages of the season. 
  • Baylee Rayl and Freya Moosbrugger moving from the West to the East, and the addition of Brittany Weiss who has typically competed in the team division, only add more depth to an already well known deep field of women in the East. 
  • Veteran Carolyne Prevost will be looking for a redeeming season after coming up short last season. 
  • While young and rising talents like Anikha Greer and Jordan Szecw will be looking to breakthrough after coming extremely close last season. Both of them have been on the radar for a breakthrough for a couple years now. 

It Doesn’t Stop There

Similarly to what we did last week, we whittle down a host of athletes in this region to another 20 who would be great additions to the Semifinal; meaning they could mix things up and would not look out of place there. Some of them are excellent in online competitions and are very likely candidates to qualify, others will need either an improved performance from years past, or a really strong slate of programming, to get in. But all of them have the potential to have some good performances should they get to Knoxville. 

North America East Stats
Athlete2023 SFs2023 QFs2024 Open
Addison DesrosiersDNQ11417
Allison Nguyen263657
Amanda Fischer185251
Breona WallinDNQ570*22
Callista Lang212824
Dana Paran235035
Elena BudzDNCDNC5
Elizabeth WishartDNQ7186
Ellie HillerDNQ757
Erica Folo9th Team179
Grace LochnerDNQ11368
Jessica Androsik2561241
Katelynn Sanders203129
Lexi Neely172226
Lindsey Lane24thTeam16630
Lindsey Porter2735141
Makenna Enslin401621
Nina Vragovic515873
Ro Scott352958
Samantha Pugh222361

Nine of these 20 athletes had finishes inside the top 30 at the NA East semis last year as well. Eight others didn’t compete, didn’t compete as individuals, or didn’t qualify (but are certainly athletes who are improving and will be looking to claim their spot this year). 

Masters Contingency?

A surprising number of women in North America East who are 35 years or older continue to put up impressive online numbers. With the age group workouts being the same as the individual this year, there is a real possibility that a couple of these incredibly impressive athletes could be in contention for a coveted top 40 spot…if they do claim one, it will be interesting to see if they decide to compete at the live Semi, or forego it and focus exclusively on trying to make the Games in the online Semifinal format for Age Group divisions. 

AthleteAgeOpen 2024 NA East Women
Amy Morton3619
Jamie Latimer4031
Brittany Bolella3538
Tammy Gyorkos3539
Caroline Klutz3645
Mekenzie Riley3647

Yes, you are reading that correctly, all six of these Masters athletes were in the top 50 in this year’s Open against the entire NA East women’s field. Four of them would be “in position” with their rankings to claim a NA East Semifinal spot. 

Other Top 50 2024 Open Finishes

Even with all 46 athletes we’ve mentioned already, there are 14 other women who placed inside the top 50 in North America East during the Open. Although, not all of them have they same competition resumes as most of the previously mentioned athletes, doing this well in the Open means they can’t be ignored entirely with the next stage also taking place online. 

AthleteOpen 2024 NA East Women
Katrina DiGiacomo3
Chloe Gauvin David13
Alaina Savage14
Tracy Johnson25
Rachel Fricker28
Mary Helen Saunders32
Shaylin Laure34
Gillian Voltz36
Rachel Clousing37
Audrey-Ann Perry-Dupuis41
Keara Napoli44
Brianna Crim46
Madeline Helms48
Stevie Dellinger49

Critical Programming

It was the first thing I thought about last fall when the expansion of Quarterfinals and the reduction of Semifinal spots in the most competitive regions was announced, and it is gaining momentum as a hot topic of conversation now that this time of the season is upon us; for the Quarterfinals to do its job, the programming needs to be extremely well designed. 

This is just one half of one competitive region that we’re highlighting and you can see how competitive it is. There are even more recognizable names (to me) that I did not include in this article. On the one hand, we see how talented and deep these competitive regions are, on the other we realized some very good athletes won’t make it to Semis. 

However, there are a lot of other competitive opportunities for the athletes who just miss out. Competition organizers and athletes alike would do well to make note of this impending reality. 

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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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One Comment:

  • Cj

    April 4, 2024 / at 2:58 am

    Isn’t Toomey competing in NA East this year?

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