TYR Wodapalooza 2024: Elite Individual Women’s Preview and Predictions

January 8, 202411 min read

Image Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

The full picture of participants in the Elite Field of Wodapalooza is often not known until the last day or two before the competition, but from what I do know, here are my predictions for the elite individual men’s field, brought to you by our exclusive WZA partner STRIKE MVMNT.

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It’s a two-day competition, with a four day feel to it in terms of the caliber of athletes, especially on the men’s side. Things will happen quickly and before we know it the two days will be over and we’ll have two champions (one for the men and one for the women). The entire slate of programming is out and there are only 500 points up for grabs, meaning no room for error, and at the top, even one event could keep you off the podium. 

Podium or Bust

Running through the list of athlete’s in the women’s field it seems there are four athletes who will be showing up expecting to be heavily in contention for the podium, three of them have made a podium at WZA before.

Arielle Loewen: Loewen’s podium finish at WZA came in 2022 and it was the only other time she’s competed individually in Miami, but her most impressive finish and podium came this past summer in Madison when she took third place at the CrossFit Games. The last three seasons have been exceptional for her as she’s continued to climb the ranks in the women’s division, and there’s no reason not to expect another great showing from Loewen this weekend.

Gabriela Migała: Despite the fact that Migała’s name jumps off the page for many as the favorite in the women’s field, she’s the only one of these four who has not stood on the podium as an individual at WZA. Her only individual appearance came in 2019 when she placed 7th (though her team of three women did win last year), before she had notched any of her now three-consecutive top-eight finishes at the CrossFit Games.

Dani Speegle: Just because Speegle missed the Games last year, doesn’t mean she isn’t in contention to podium at Wodapalooza. She was second last year, and has been fifth in her other two individual appearances. If you’re not picking her for the top-five you are focused too much on the 2023 Semifinals, and not on what she’s likely to do in Miami.

Emma Cary: The youngest and smallest of the four women in this group, but another one who absolutely should not be underestimated. She was third place in Miami last year, and eighth place at the Games in 2023 after taking the 2022 season off to rehab a back injury. That seems to be a thing of the past, and with the momentum she’s starting to amass she has just a good a chance as anyone to stand atop the elite individual women’s podium on Friday night.

Women to Watch

As on the men’s side, there is a huge host of women who will be clamoring to upset the four favorites listed above. Each of them has turned some heads either this year or in recent years and any one of them could certainly surprise and entertain this week: 

Emily Rolfe: Rolfe is a four-times Games qualifier, and has three WZA individual appearances with finishes of ninth in 2023 and 2022, and 10th in 2020. She’s coming off her best ever Games finish (12th), but a surprisingly low finish in Dubai (seventh) considering the field and that she was third there the previous year. 

Matilde Garnes: Garnes is making her individual debut at WZA and has had varied results over the last two seasons. She made the Games in both 2022 and 2023, but moved backwards from 19th in 2022 to 33rd in 2023. She did have an offseason podium at Dubai in 2022 (second, one spot ahead of Rolfe) suggesting that she can mix it up in this style of competition. 

Ellie Turner: Turner has qualified for the last three Games with a career best of 18th in 2022. In her only previous individual appearance at WZA she was sixth (2022). It isn’t exactly clear how physically healthy she is, but when she’s in top form she can certainly mix it up with most of this field. 

Olivia Kerstetter: Kerstetter made her debut in the elite divisions at both the CrossFit Games (16th) and Wodapalooza (14th) last year. Her talent at a young age is clear, what isn’t clear is how high the ceiling is. This will be the first time we’ve seen her since the Games, and I expect she will have taken yet another step forward relative to the women she’s chasing. 

Feeroozeh Saghafi: Saghafi is coming off her second Games qualification, and first since 2019. She placed 32nd, which may be a little underwhelming, but in her previous WZA elite individual appearance (2022), she notched a top-ten finish (eighth). The workouts look good for her overall, and another top ten is well within reason. 

Rebecka Vitesson: Vitesson broke through and qualified in the final position in the fiercely competitive women’s European semifinal. She battled to a respectable rookie finish of 25th which is on par with what others on this list did in their Games’ debuts. 

Sydney Wells: No longer just this sister of Brooke Wells, Sydney made a big jump forward this year too. In her first year at the CrossFit Games she placed 28th, but she also had a strong showing in Miami last year when she took 12th, let’s see if she can push into the top ten with another year of training and that Games experience under her belt.

Abigail Domit: Another 2023 Games rookie, Domit placed 26th, just one spot behind Vitesson, and two places ahead of Wells. She seems to be riding a confidence and momentum from the 2023 Games season in her training, let’s see how it correlates to competition. 

Caroline Stanley: That missing spot at the Games behind 25th and 28th? That was Caroline Stanley who placed 27th. She had a similar showing at WZA two seasons ago (2022) when she placed 25th. I’m not sure which of these women will do it, but expect at least one of those four to stand out this week.

Emily de Rooy: The last of the Games rookies from 2023 on this list, and she placed last at the Games (40th). However, I believe she began the competition injured and we were robbed of seeing her actual potential this past summer. She was ninth in a fairly tight top ten at the Down Under CrossFit Championship last month and will be looking to get back into form closer to her Semifinal performance last season this week.

Grace Walton: Speaking of the Down Under Championships, Walton made the podium there taking third. She was the top qualifier online for WZA this year, and much like the male top qualifier (Austin Hatfield), her name comes with a lot of buzz about her being poised for a breakout competition, season, and maybe even career. There’s certainly some pressure there before she’s actually done it; hopefully this is the week the apparent talent is converted into results on the floor that match. 

Full Women’s Picks:

1Gabriela Migała21Elizabeth Wishart
2Arielle Loewen22Rebecca Fuselier
3Emma Cary23Ellia Miller
4Feeroozeh Saghafi24Emily Rethwill
5Ellie Turner25Christee Hollard
6Dani Speegle26Stacy Lerum
7Emily Rolfe27Ashley Shoemaker
8Grace Walton28Roran Scott
9Olivia Kerstetter29Jessica Androsik
10Matilde Garnes30Briony Challis
11Rebecka Vitesson31Andra Moistus
12Sydney Wells32Gabrielle Spenst
13Abigail Domit33Margaux Masset
14Caroline Stanley34Keara Napoli
15Emily De Rooy35Julia Hannaford
16Freya Moosbrugger36Lexi Neely
17Callista Lang37Katie Canning
18Allison Weiss38Becca Merritt
19Victoria Campos39Nicolette Torreggiani
20Elena Carratala40Bergrós Björnsdóttir

How do you vote?

14 People voted this article. 10 Upvotes - 4 Downvotes.

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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