Katelin van Zyl's Quarterfinals Tech Nightmare


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Katelin van Zyl and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, but ultimately OK Quarterfinals week.

  • CrossFit as “therapy” — Make WODs Great Again’s John Wooley on how CrossFit helps him handle ADHD, anxiety, and depression as we head into Mental Health Awareness Month.

  • In his “Week in Review,” Dave Castro addressed Quarterfinals penalties and announced that CrossFit would be examining the video review process and making adjustments for next season.


“I don’t like to see these athletes who work so hard and not be able to advance onto the next stage for this, but it is the rules; it is the system put in place.” - Dave Castro on Quarterfinals penalties


Credit: @bbold_movement / Instagram

Interview: Katelin Van Zyl Explains How Tech Issues Almost Cost Her a Semifinals Spot

Heading into the 2024 Quarterfinals, Australia’s Katelin van Zyl was relaxed and ready to rumble. 

A mother to two young boys, van Zyl had arranged for her mom to be in town to care for the kids all weekend so she could focus on her fitness and qualifying for Semifinals. Van Zyl felt like things were lining up well and had a great attitude going into the weekend. 

  • “I wasn’t feeling too stressed about Quarterfinals. I had my hernia surgery three months ago, early enough so that I could be ready for the season,” she tells the Morning Chalk Up.

Three months after surgery, van Zyl finally regained the confidence to lift heavy again without pain; her main goal was to finish in the top 40 in her region and advance to the Semifinals. 

Winning was not on her mind, which aided in her stress-free approach to the week. She completed the four workouts in the order that worked best for her, prioritizing the first two because of their earlier due date. 

  • “I went to submit my scores for the first two workouts on the app, and it kept kicking me out,” she says. “After several times logging on and getting booted, I eventually got to the stage where I could see both scores and both video links there and uploaded. I took a screenshot, which I always do, just for clarification.”

Done and dusted, van Zyl went on with her day. Then things took a turn.

  • “The first thing that happened was a girl from the gym asking me what was happening with the leaderboard and if I had checked it,” van Zyl says. “I pulled it up immediately on my phone and saw that my score for Workout 2 had been given a zero.

She then saw an email from CrossFit HQ saying her score had been invalidated. 

Her heart dropped.


PODIUM Launches Athlete Series

PODIUM is at it again. The supplement brand known for their celebrity status Founders Mat Fraser and the Buttery Bros, their Elite Athlete team, Outrageous Content, and Premium Product Formulas is expanding into The Vitamin Shoppe via the PODIUM Athlete Series.

This new product line perfectly compliments their current core collection and incorporates several highly requested updates including:

  • Informed Sport testing and approval

  • Isolate Whey in Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate Ripple for maximum recovery benefits

  • A ground breaking mid-stim Athlete Pre-Workout formula that includes 5g of creatine per serving in iconic flavors Sour Watermelon and Blue Raspberry

  • Salt+Electrolytes with Taurine in Tropical Lime and Strawberry that will up your hydration levels whether you're in off-season training or prepping for your next comp

The Athlete Series is currently exclusive to The Vitamin Shoppe but will make its way to their website this Summer.

Ways to save: PODIUM's innovative Loyalty Program rewards members when they shop at designated retail partners! You can join for free and upload receipts for 2x points on purchases, check out PODIUM FIT, and earn credit by referring your friends.

Keep your eye on PODIUM as Summer approaches because we always know to expect something entertaining from their media team. Give them a follow @321podium and check out the new Athlete Series at a Vitamin Shoppe near you.


Official 2024 CrossFit Games Quarterfinals Leaderboards

  • North America East
    1. Jeffrey Adler (19) | Alexis Raptis (22)
    2. Roman Khrennikov (29) | Emma Lawson (24)
    3. Austin Hatfield (40) | Danielle Brandon (44)
    4. Jayson Hopper (41) | Erica Folo (56)
    5. Dallin Pepper (53) | Haley Adams (69)

  • North America West
    1. Justin Medeiros (35) | Alex Gazan (22)
    2. Brandon Luckett (42) | Abigail Domit (29)
    3. Samuel Kwant (44) | Emily Rolfe (32)
    4. Cole Greashaber (49) | Arielle Loewen (36)
    5. Zachery Buntin (50) | Rebecca Fuselier (67)

  • Europe
    1. Jonne Koski (24) | Gabriela Migala (21)
    2. Victor Hoffer (47) | Laura Horvath (38)
    3. Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson (56) | Manon Angonese (52)
    4. Moritz Fiebig (74) | Emma Tall (55)
    5. Aniol Ekai (81) | Emma McQuaid (57)

  • Oceania
    1. Ricky Garard (11) | Madeline Sturt (12)
    2. Jay Crouch (11) | Grace Walton (18)
    3. Bayley Martin (24) | Katelyn Van Zyl (20)
    4. Ben Fowler (40) | Daisy McDonald (46)
    5. Zac Thomas (62) | Erika Palasty (53)

  • Asia 
    1. Ivan Kukartsev (21) | Seher Kaya (12)
    2. Morteza Sedaghat (44) | Seungyeon Choi (20)
    3. Mevlut Agir (67) | Dawon Jung (21)
    4. Seungjong Kim (76) | Evie Hollis (24)
    5. Ilyas Kuliev (78) | Anastasiya Dodonova (27)

  • South America
    1. Agustin Richelme (22) | Victoria Campos (28)
    2. Joao Pedro Barcelos (28) | Emily Andrade (54)
    3. Bruno Marins (30) | Gabriella Luque (76)
    4. Guilherme Malheiros (55) | Luiza Marques (85)
    5. Juan Ignacio Sforzini (84) | Lillian Nagao (94)

  • Africa
    1. Kaelan Henry (10) | Christina Livaditakis (14)
    2. Ruan Duvenage (17) | Gemma Rader (17)
    3. Callum Deeble (34) | Dina Swift (27)
    4. Darren Zurnamer (38) | Gilmari Reyneke (37)
    5. Michael Van Tonder (40) | Reegan Finkel (48)

  • Reminder: The top 40 men and women will qualify for Semifinals in each region. For full age-group leaderboards, refer to the CrossFit Games site.

  • See Morning Chalk Up's full Quarterfinals coverage and learn all the details about qualifying for the next stage of the 2024 CrossFit Games season.

Subscribe to The BarBend Newsletter to keep up with all of the action from the 2024 World's Strongest Man contest from May 1 - May 5.

  • Plus, stick around for free training hacks, nutrition tips, and strength sports news delivered right to your inbox.

💪🚨 New CrossFit Sponsors: CrossFit announced two new sponsors for the 2024 season, one is a new partnership, the other is a returning one:

  • The U.S. Border Patrol, a 2023 CrossFit sponsor, is returning for 2024 as an Official Partner of the CrossFit Games and the presenting sponsor of the Teenage CrossFit Games by PIT Teen Throwdown.

  • Northern Spirit, a functional training and fitness clothing brand, was announced as the Official Sponsor of the CrossFit Games Semifinals and Masters, Teenage, and Adaptive CrossFit Games.

🧑‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Association of Fitness Judges Statement: The Association of Fitness Judges released a statement in the aftermath of the Individual Quarterfinal Workout 1 score adjustments. Many of the athletes who were heavily penalized had utilized judges from the organization.

  • From the statement: “This Quarterfinals, the AFJ was brought in to help a number of Training Camps and Individual athletes with their workouts. We had their trust, their faith, and their confidence.”

  • “The CrossFit Video Review Team was looking for very exacting standards that we didn’t manage to produce every time. Since the first wave of penalties has gone out, we have been in communication with the various athletes and training camps that have been affected to advise and consult with how to move forward.”

Madrid Championship X 2: There will be two editions of the Madrid Championship in 2024. First, the MAD Fitness Festival will take place June 28-30 at the Quijote Arena in Ciudad Real, Spain, then the Mad Fittest Cup on November 22-24 at the Centro Deportivo Municipal Gallur, Madrid, Spain.

👑🏆 TYR Wodapalooza’s LatAm Cup is Expanding: In 2024, the Second Annual TYR WZA LatAm Cup will include 10 events in 10 countries, culminating in the final championship at WZA Miami in January 2025.

🎟️ 🎟️ CrossFit Asia Semifinal: The Far East Throwdown, the 2024 CrossFit Asia Semifinal, will take place May 17-19 at the BEXCO Exhibition and Convention Center in Busan, South Korea. Tickets are available now!

ICYMI: With all the attention on video judging, we took a quick look back at some of the important, consequential, and even silly moments in the history of CrossFit’s controversial review process.


Credit: Jill Herlihy (@beyond.the.script / Instagram)

CrossFit as Therapy

It’s fascinating to see the various reasons people choose CrossFit over other kinds of training for their fitness.

I would imagine that the very nature of “constantly varied” is a significant part of why we see a diverse and wide-ranging member base in most affiliates. 

On any given day at my affiliate, Chagrin Falls CrossFit, you will see a broad cross-section of our community. 

  • We have highly competitive athletes, teenagers, grandparents, athletes with disabilities, and moms and dads just trying to stay healthy for their kids. 

It’s rewarding and intriguing to see so many diverse walks of life striving to reach individual goals. 

As a member of that community, I am no different and, personally, I practice CrossFit both for longevity and as a form of therapy.


Looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift? Birthday gift? Or maybe just a "It's Friday and I deserve a treat" gift? YETI is offering free customization on all eligible drinkware and barware. Choose a design from their gallery or even upload your own. It's a great opportunity to represent your Box, or maybe your favorite newsletter... Don't miss out on this deal—grab your one-of-a-kind drinkware today.


Credit: @crossfitgames / Instagram

“Staying the Course”: Dave Castro Comments on Quarterfinals Penalties

Dave Castro, general manager of sport at CrossFit HQ, said the review process for workout video submissions is being looked at but won’t change for the remainder of the 2024 CrossFit Games season.

  • During his weekly “Week in Review” podcast, Castro addressed the relatively high volume of penalties given during the video review process of the Individual Quarterfinals workouts. 

Remind me: Individual athletes in the Quarterfinals stage submitted videos for four separate workouts during two different submission windows. 

  • The workout descriptions provided by CrossFit suggested camera angles, standards for each movement, and a detailed flow of how each workout should be performed. 

Following the submission windows, CrossFit HQ reviewed the videos and handed out major and minor penalties to athletes for Workout 1 (as well as a lesser number for the other workouts).

As of Sunday, April 28, CrossFit had administered 599 total penalties, according to reporting from Morning Chalk Up’s Nicky Freymond. This has led to major upsets on the leaderboard, particularly hitting previous Semifinals and Games athletes hard.

What he’s saying: Castro’s Week in Review video podcast on YouTube typically involves a recap of what’s going on in the CrossFit world and a segment where he answers questions from viewers.

This week, he opened the show and focused mostly on the penalty issue and gave listeners some background as to how CrossFit HQ plans to move forward. 

  • “I don’t like to see these athletes who work so hard and not be able to advance onto the next stage for this, but it is the rules; it is the system put in place,” Castro said in his video post. 

  • He mentioned HQ had close to 1000 reviews and around 180 were minor penalties, while around 160 were major penalties. 

  • These, among other figures, are “pretty similar and/or consistent to years past when we use this model at the Quarterfinal stage to assess those going forward and to assess and implement penalties,” he added. 


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise? Send us a tip.

  • 🥇Congratulations to Emma Lawson and Jonne Koski on topping the worldwide Quarterfinals leaderboard.

  • Great job to Caroline Lambray on completing the Rogue Rocket Challenge.

  • 🤸‍♀️Check out Annie Thorisdottir getting in one last workout before the birth of her second child. Nice work, Annie!

  • Congratulations to coach Savannah of Paradiso CrossFit in Los Angeles, CA, on taking home a gold and silver medal at her recent weightlifting meet.

  • 🔥Nice work to Games athlete David Hippensteel on his high-level skill work.