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Aussie Couple Jay Crouch and Maddie Sturt Are Ready for Fort Worth, Together


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Austin Hatfield’s name is in the conversation for possible Rookie of the Year honors at the CrossFit Games this summer. Learn more about this rabbit-farming up-and-comer below.

  • What you do before your workout matters. A good warm-up will set you up for success, while a poor one could lead you down a path of injury. Check out Ben Bergeron’s four steps for a kick-ass warm-up.

  • Australia’s power couple Maddie Sturt and Jay Crouch have each competed at four CrossFit Games, but they get to do it together this summer. Find out what changes they made to their training and their plans for Fort Worth.


“Everybody asks me what happens with the rabbits and I say I have no clue. I drop them off, get my paperwork, and go home.” - First-time Games qualifier and rabbit farmer Austin Hatfield on what happens to the rabbits.


Credit: @taylorjordan04 / Instagram

CrossFit Games Rookie Spotlight: Austin Hatfield – Elite CrossFit Athlete by Day, Rabbit Farmer by Night

Austin Hatfield, who hails from Beckley, WV, was an athlete to watch from the very start of the North America East Semifinal, especially when it was revealed that outside of being an elite CrossFit athlete, he’s also a rabbit farmer. 

The soon-to-be 25-year-old picked up his first Semifinals event win during Event 2, where his unbroken front squats and quick transition times from the toes-to-bar to the barbell paid off. 

Hatfield found a coach just a year ago and has fully committed to the sport. 

  • “I kind of went all in. I took care of nutrition and recovery and really focused more on training. I worked a little bit on the side. Everybody knows now that I'm a rabbit farmer,” Hatfield told Morning Chalk Up, in an interview. 

Hatfield trains out of CrossFit Coal and is a CrossFit Mayhem athlete. 

Committing to the Sport

His coach is Jake Naumcheff, with whom he started working just a year ago. 

Before that, he followed Mayhem Athlete’s competitive track and Semifinalist track. While he did make Semifinals last year, this was the first year Hatfield dialed in and cemented his place among the other elites.

  • “I do feel like I belong. All the effort and training I put into it, it'd be hard not to feel like I don't belong in that field,” said Hatfield.


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✂🗓️ 2024 CrossFit Games Cut Schedule: Yesterday, the CrossFit Games team revealed the cut schedule for the 2024 Games.

  • On the individual side, all athletes will compete on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. The field will be cut to 30 for Saturday afternoon and 20 for Sunday.

  • On the team side, the full field of 30 teams will compete on Thursday and Friday. The field will be cut to 20 for Saturday and 10 for Sunday.

💪 METCON Rush Incoming: This mid-Atlantic event has been gaining momentum every year, and later this month, elite athletes will burn it down in Hagerstown, MD. Find out more about this up-and-coming event and check it out on July 20-21.

🎟️📈 Known and Knowable Games Ticket Tracker: Mike Halpin, the mind behind Known & Knowable, is keeping an eye on the 2024 CrossFit Games ticket resale prices on StubHub, Vivid Seats, and Ticketmaster. If you are still hoping to get your hands on a couple, find the best available deals here.  

👂📢 Constantly Varied Conversations: John Wooley used his new platform to celebrate Sean Woodland’s role in the sport of CrossFit and highlight how CrossFit’s approach to communication with the community once again fell short.

ICYMI: We took a look at some of the odds-on favorites to win the Games this summer and made an argument for and against each one. Check it out now.


Credit: @welcome_to_the_mill / Instagram

4 Steps to a Kick-Ass Warm-Up

A well-designed warm-up is crucial for optimizing performance and minimizing injury risk during training. 

Many athletes overlook or rush through their warm-up, not realizing how much it can impact their results. 

However, you can take your training to the next level by understanding the key components of an effective warm-up and consistently implementing them.

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of the ideal warm-up. 

  • When done properly, the whole sequence takes about 15-20 minutes—a small investment for a substantial return.

Step 1: Myofascial Release

The first step in a proper warm-up is myofascial release, which is essentially a form of self-massage using tools like foam rollers or lacrosse balls.


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Credit: @jaycrouch_/ Instagram

Aussie CrossFit Couple Jay Crouch and Maddie Sturt On Their PRVN Results This CrossFit Games Season

Australian athletes Jay Crouch and Madeline ”Maddie” Sturt have each competed at four  CrossFit Games, but 2024 will be the first time this super fit couple will hit the Games competition floor in the same year.

Crouch made his individual Games debut in 2020. 

  • Despite having local success in the Oceania region for many years (including two Oceania Semifinal wins), Crouch struggled to break through to the top ranks at the Games until last year, where he placed eighth. 

It’s been a long five years since Sturt’s last appearance at the Games in 2019, and she left nothing to chance at the Oceania Semifinal this year. 

  • She won four out of the six events, earning a second-place finish overall and her fifth ticket to the Games. 

Sturt is hungry for the comeback after spending the last few years being a part of the support crew to Crouch.

  • “It’s always bittersweet being over there [at the Games] with Jay,” she shared in an interview with the Morning Chalk Up. “I was so happy to be there and help him as much as I could and support him and watch him, but then at the same time, to see the girls walk out, I’d be like, ‘Aww man, I just want to be there, too.’”


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