The CrossFit Games “Carson Era”: 30-16 Men’s Rankings

June 28, 202311 min read

Contributions from Brian Friend and John Young

Image Credits: CrossFit LLC

If you have not seen our “Ranch Era” top tens, be sure to check them out:

Moving to the second location for the CrossFit Games, we have Carson, California where the “Fittest on Earth” gathered every summer from 2010 until 2016

The “Ranch Era” was three years, Carson spanned seven. There were many more athletes in contention for these spots, so we brought our good friend John Young in to have a fun debate with me. We will release the video/audio version after the articles come out, but for now, here are the men we ranked 30 down to 16 from the Carson Era. In the video we only discuss athletes who we already decided would be in the top 30, there were several others who narrowly missed the cut including Travis Mayer, Patrick Burke, Roy Gamboa, Jonne Koski, and Daniel Tyminski. 

*Note that nothing any athlete did before 2010 or after 2016 is considered for these rankings. It is exclusively limited to what the athletes did, at the Games, from 2010 until 2016.

30. Albert Dominic Larouche

Albert Dominic Larouche Games 2016 copy
  • 5 appearances
  • Best: 12th 2013
  • Average finish: 26
  • Event wins: Medball/HSPU 2012

“Larouche was amongst the early formidable Canadian powerhouses. The three-time Canada East Regional champion, made an impressive impact at the Games during this era while also working as police officer in Canada https://games.crossfit.com/article/armed-and-ready-albert-dominic-larouche .” – Brian Friend

29. Marcus Filly

Marcus Filly Games 2016 copy
  • 3 appearances
  • Best: 12th 2016
  • Average finish: 24
  • Event wins: none

“Filly really solidified his CrossFit Games career in 2016. With six top-ten finishes that season after only one in his previous two appearances, it was clear his fitness had taken that next step and it showed in the final year of the Carson era.” – Brian Friend

28. Lucas Parker

Lucas Parker Games copy
  • 6 appearances
  • Best: 14th 2015
  • Average finish: 21
  • Event wins: Clean and Jerk 2013

“Lucas Parker, another Canadian powerhouse from back in the day, was known for his meticulous approach to everything he did. This can be seen especially when he approaches each bar in the 2013 Clean and Jerk ladder with great success.” – John Young

27. Nate Schrader

Nate Schrader Games copy
  • 3 appearances
  • Best: 12th 2012
  • Average finish: 17
  • Event wins: Broad Jump and Sprint 2012, Sprint Carry 2014

“Nate Schrader had what you would call ‘sneaky athleticism’, he did not have the most impressive physique but when it came to being explosive and fast, few did it better during Nate’s tenure.” – John Young

26. Ben Stoneberg

Ben Stoneberg rotator copy
  • 4 appearances
  • Best: 9th 2014
  • Average finish: 18
  • Event wins: none

“Stoneberg amassed four appearances in a six year time period, missing 2012 only because he was competing with a team, and 2015 as he was recovering from an injury. His back-to-back finishes of 16th in 2013 and 9th in 2014 carry the majority of his weight as that coincided with a very visible period of time for the CrossFit Games. Third place finishes on both “Triple 3” and “Push Pull” were the hallmark moments from his career best performance in 2014.” – Brian Friend

25. Tommy Hackenbruck

Tommy Hackenbruck Games copy
  • 3 appearances
  • Best: 6th 2014
  • Average finish: 13
  • Event wins: none

“Out of all the guys on this list only Hackenbruck and Khalipa can say they podiumed in the ‘good ole days’, and were still fit enough to finish top-10 in what was then an evolved era of the sport by 2014.” – John Young

24. Alex Anderson

Alex Anderson Games 2016
  • 2 appearances
  • Best: 11th 2016
  • Average finish: 12th
  • Event wins: Squat Clean Pyramid 2016

“During the prime of his career Anderson was a staple at the Central Regional. He parlayed back-to-back third place finishes in that region into 13th and 11th place finishes at the Games in 2015 and 2016. He had four top-ten finishes in 2016 ranging from taking 8th on “Murph”, to 5th on “Suicide Sprint”, as well as a sixth on the Ranch “Deadlift Ladder” and the win on “Squat Clean Pyramid”. Those four finishes alone speak to the talent Anderson had to both lift heavy, go long, and go fast.” – Brian Friend

23. Rob Forte

Rob Forte Games 2014 copy
  • 6 appearances
  • Best: 12th 2014
  • Average finish: 27
  • Event wins: Triple 3 2014

“Forte may not have the high finishes of some of the others, but his longevity during this period of time cannot be ignored. His best year, 2014, came with an event win and four additional top-ten finishes. Two years later he’d bounce back with three more top-ten event finishes as he climbed back into the top-20 in a very competitive 2016 field.” – Brian Friend

22. Neal Maddox

Neal Maddox Games 2013 copy
  • 6 appearances
  • Best: 9th: 2013
  • Average finish: 23
  • Event wins: Clean Ladder 2012, Sprint Sled 1 & 2 2014, Clean Speed Ladder 2015

“Every era has that strong guy that can just do things that nobody else can. In the Carson era that guy was Neal Maddox. With four event wins he was known for his home run hitting abilities, especially when it came to the barbell. During the 2012 clean ladder most of the top guys were out at 335-345 lbs (Rich Froning included), meanwhile Maddox was the only man successful at 365 lbs.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozYKEHerKCQ” – John Young

21. Chris Spealler

Chris Spealler Games copy
  • 4 appearances
  • Best: 3rd 2010
  • Average finish: 15
  • Event wins: Muscle Up/Squat Snatch (Amanda) and Wall Burpee/Rope Climb 2010

“21st here, but also 7th in the Ranch Era. There aren’t many men or women who are duplicates on these two lists. Spealler gets a big boost here for his podium finish in 2010, something he was lacking at the Ranch, but with no other top-ten finishes, he can’t push any higher on this list.” – Brian Friend

20. Brent Fikowski

Brent Fikowski Games 2014 copy
  • 1 appearance
  • Best: 4th 2016
  • Average finish: 4th
  • Event wins: Ranch Mini Chipper, Climbing Snail, 100%, and Rope Chipper 2016

“It was very difficult knowing where to put Fikowski on this list or even if he should be on it. He only has one appearance during the “Carson Era”, but what an appearance it was. Arguably in the hardest year of the era he collected four event wins and finished in 4th place. Only Rich Froning and Josh Bridges have more event wins than Brent Fikowski during this time. So, even though he was only in Carson for one year, he deserves to be on this list and one could argue should even be higher than the next guy.” – John Young

19. Patrick Vellner

Patrick Vellner Games 2014 copy
  • 1 appearance
  • Best: 3rd 2016
  • Average finish: 3rd
  • Event wins: none

“Like Brent Fikowski it was difficult to not place Vellner on the list even though he was only in Carson his rookie year. Vellner arguably had the greatest finish out of anyone on the list not named Fraser, Froning or Ben Smith in what was the hardest year to do so. That alone solidifies his spot, however, it is difficult to argue for him to be any higher.” – John Young

18. Austin Malleolo

Austin Malleolo Games copy
  • 5 appearances
  • Best: 6th 2010
  • Average finish: 21
  • Event wins: Deadlift/Pistol/Double Under 2010

“Surrounded by men in this range with fewer appearances than him, Malleolo is one of the stalwart competitors from this era. His best finish came in 2010, but he was still qualifying and competing well through 2015. Being able to qualify consistently overtime counts for a lot, and in this case, goes a long way towards Malleolo being this high on the list.” – Brian Friend

17. Chad Mackay

Chad Mackay Games 2014 copy
  • 3 appearances
  • Best: 9th 2012
  • Average finish: 11
  • Event wins: Pendleton 2 and Ball Toss 2012

“One of the early great male competitors from Australia, Mackay only competed three years at the Games and showed remarkable consistency in those three seasons. While he was a bigger athlete, his most notable performance came in 2012 when he took 2nd on “Pendleton 1” and then won “Pendleton 2” in one of the most famous offsite events in Games history.” – Brian Friend

16. Marcus Hendren

Marcus Hendren Games 2012 copy
  • 2 appearances
  • Best: 6th 2013
  • Average finish: 6.5
  • Event wins: Zig Zag Sprint 2013

“Marcus Hendren, the ‘OG Farmboy’, had an amazing two-year run in Carson. Had he been in a different region he probably would have been at the Games more often. Though brief, in his two appearances Hendren finished 6th and 7th. Hendren also gave us some fantastic moments that will be remembered throughout CrossFit history. One that comes to mind most often is…’Legless’. Just watch it and you’ll see why. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpFZDnSiqrc&t=904s – John Young

Ranks 15 counting down to one coming soon. 

**If you like the contributions of John Young during this article please consider buying him a cup of coffee, all proceeds will go to him**

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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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