2018 CrossFit Games: Best Performances

We’re celebrating the best performances of the 2018 CrossFit Games season.

On Friday, CrossFit® crowned the fittest male and female athletes in 123 nations. In total, 236 CrossFit athletes received the title of fittest in their country. In celebration of their monumental efforts, we’re digging into the greatest performances from the 2018 CrossFit Games.

Royce Dunne’s CrossFit Total at 1255lbs

It’s difficult to imagine lifting 1,255 pounds of anything. Royce Dunne did it in three lifts during the 2018 CrossFit Total. While not winning the individual lifts, their combined total was the highest on the field.

You can see all athlete performances at the 2018 CrossFit Games CrossFit Total event here.

Back squat

During the CrossFit Total, Royce Dunne completed a one rep-max back squat at 470 pounds. This was enough to take sixth-place in the lift. First place was earned by Scott Panchik when he squatted 500 pounds.

Overhead Press

Dunne tied for fourth during the overhead press portion of the CrossFit Total, with a lift of 220 pounds. Best of the men was Craig Kenney, pressing 240 pounds overhead.


Also gaining him fourth place, Dunne deadlifted 565 pounds. He was beaten by Patrick Vellner, who was able to deadlift 595 pounds from the ground.

The 2018 CrossFit Games Marathon Row

A marathon is 26.2 miles. That is 42,195 meters. Long-time CrossFit Games workout planner Dave Castro programmed this as the last event of the first day.

See the pain athletes go through as they complete 3+ hours of rowing in the 2018 CrossFit Games Marathon Row event.

Lukas Esslinger – 2018 CrossFit Games Marathon Row

Lukas Esslinger looked invincible during the marathon row event. As the first to finish, his time of 2:43:50 set a standard athletes will try long and hard to beat. Those familiar with rowers know machine pace is calculated as minutes it would take to complete a 500-meter distance. Esslinger’s time meant he maintained an inhuman 1:55 pace. For almost three hours.

Margaux Alvarez – 2018 CrossFit Games Marathon Row

The resident sommelier of CrossFit, Margaux Alvarez’s performance was also sensational. Finishing mere seconds over the three-hour mark, Alvarez was the first woman to finish the Marathon Row event. Her time beat nine male athletes, including notables:

Alessandra Pichelli – 2018 CrossFit Games Marathon Row

This story gives you some additional context into how miserable a marathon row can be. Alessandra Pichelli was a college rowing athlete. At a division one school. Her tenure as a CrossFit Games veteran means she also survived a half-marathon row in the CrossFit Games 2013 season.

Legs cramping and the cramps spreading through her entire core, Pichelli spent more than an hour (and 20,000 meters of rowing) with excruciating pain. Her drive to complete this event is not only one of the most inspirational stories in the history of the CrossFit Games, but in the history of sports.

Patrick Vellner Wins Chaos With a Bruised Lung

Many wild things happened with injuries during the 2018 CrossFit Games season. Sara Sigmundsdottir completed five events, even after re-breaking a rib. Steph Chung completed every CrossFit Games 2018 event with a broken ankle.

Patrick Vellner, after falling on the obstacle course, was coughing up blood. While medical professionals diagnosed him with a bruised lung, he opted to compete as long as he could.

Patrick Vellner and Mat Fraser take a tumble during the 2018 obstacle course event. Vellner bruised a lung and was coughing up blood after the event.

Vellner’s drive took him to win the Chaos event. His hefty 18-second lead over second-place Saxon Panchik wasn’t an easy one. The workout involved a SkiErg. From there, athletes jumped into burpees, single-arm overhead squats, single-leg squats, and box jump-overs.

Finally, athletes pulled a 400-pound tumbler over 110 feet. Not anything you’d want to do with severe chest pain.

Brooke Wells’ First Event Win

Brooke Wells has been a fan favorite in CrossFit for a number of years. She’s slowly climbed the charts as one of the most consistent athletes at the Games. In fact, the 2018 CrossFit Games was Brooke’s fourth games appearance. However, she had never won an event before.

Silence, ye haters!

Brooke navigated a long obstacle course handstand walk to win her first event, ever. Bravocado! As a young athlete (she’s only 23), this is one small exclamation point on what will be a very long career for Brooke Wells in CrossFit.

Everything Mathew Fraser

Let’s talk Mathew Fraser. We may never see a performance like the one he put on during the 2018 CrossFit Games season. Unless it’s done by him. During the 2019 CrossFit Games season. See what we did there?

In the entirety of the CrossFit Games 2018 duration, Mathew Fraser never placed worse than 11th in an event. In fact, his worst performances earned him 11th, 9th, 8th, and 7th-place finishes.

Join those to his four fourth-place finishes. Add in his two third-place finishes. Multiply that by his two second-place finishes and his two first-place finishes.

The end result is one very large first-place finish. Mathew Fraser is the Fittest Man on Earth, is he not?

Laura Horvath at the 2018 CrossFit Games

Laura Horvath is a rookie no more. This 22-year old from Hungary put up a 2018 CrossFit Games performance we haven’t seen from even a veteran before.

Horvath came out swinging early, placing second in the Crit event (a Criterium is a ten-lap bike race through a 1,200-meter course. She then took fourth on the marathon row. Firmly mingling with the best athletes on the field, she then won three total events: Battleground, the 2-Stroke Pull, and the Aeneas final event.

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.

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