Long Term Success in the CrossFit Open

The CrossFit Open is a unique event in not only the world of CrossFit, but also in the world of sports. It’s where you have hundreds of thousands of athletes all competing against each other. From the Fittest on Earth to newbies off the street.

This diversity is what makes it special. It’s part of the reason that it is so difficult to win and perform well year after year. With a scoring system that’s based on you finish in each event, one bad event and top athletes can easily find themselves hundreds or thousands of places down the leaderboard. To put it into perspective, the reigning 4 time fittest woman on earth, Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr just won her first CrossFit Open.

Many athletes have great CrossFit Opens, but fail to make it any further like Michael Palomba who finished 11th in the Open in 2018, but 36th in Regionals. Many athletes also don’t have great Open finishes, but make it to the CrossFit Games and do well, such as Cole Sager in 2017 who finished 171st in the Open and 16th at the CrossFit Games.

So the question I had was, are their athletes that finish at the top of the CrossFit Open leaderboard year after year?

To begin my search I defined the “top of the leaderboard” as top 50, and limited my search to a 5 year span from 2017 – 2021.

There have been 11 athletes to complete this achievement, 4 men and 7 women.

Women

Athlete20212020201920182017
Katrin Davidsdottir142313810
Kristin Holte17331516
Emma McQuaid67151915
Kari Pearce1668202
Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr1461218
Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault28810166
Brooke Wells911669
Female athletes that have finished in the top 50 of the CrossFit Open for the last 5 years.

Men

Athlete20212020201920182017
Logan Collins162622829
Rich Froning Jr.519101011
Scott Panchik233111332
Patrick Vellner20130511
Male athletes that have finished in the top 50 of the CrossFit Open for the last 5 years.

When you view the list, it really is the elite of the sport. It is even more surprising that only Scott Panchik had a finish over 30th, which further highlights the great performances.

Other interesting facts

Rich Froning has finished in the top 20 of the Open every year it has run.

Jamie Simmonds did not complete the 2021 CrossFit Open due to an injury, but finished in the top 10 from 2017-2020.

Sara Sigmundsdottir also did not complete the 2021 CrossFit Open due to an injury, and has finished in the top 25 from 2015-2020 including 3 victories.

Kara Saunders has finished in the top 15 of the CrossFit Open every year since 2015 with the exception of 2019 when she was pregnant.

🐐Fact – Before his retirement, Mat Fraser finished in the Top 10 of the Open for 7 straight years from 2014 to 2020, which included 4 victories.

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