Andrea Ager’s Decision to WD From the SoCal Regional

Posted by
Andrea Ager

(Image courtesy of Andrea Ager’s Facebook page)

As one of the sport’s best known athletes who has yet to qualify for the CrossFit Games, Andrea Ager’s performance at the 2013 SoCal Regionals was going to be watched more closely than nearly any other hopeful competing for a spot at this year’s Games. After earning seventh place in this year’s Open, Ager eventually withdrew from Regionals after a judging mishap led to her recording a controversial score in Event 2’s overhead squat ladder.

How popular has Andrea Ager become in the past year? CrossFit’s Beauty in Strength video (embedded below), where Ager is featured, has over one million views on YouTube at the time of publishing. By comparison, two-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning’s 225 pound Grace video has under 200,000 YouTube views.

In the other two workouts she completed at the SoCal Regional, Ager placed fifth and third, in prime position to compete for one of the spots at this year’s Games in arguably the sport’s most competitive women’s region. Ager’s decision to withdraw was not only the right decision; it was a decision that potentially saved CrossFit from some controversy.

After the event, CrossFit’s head judge Adrian Bozman said, “This was a mistake on my behalf… During the mandatory morning athlete briefing, I incorrectly answered a question by saying that there was no minimum work requirement for Individual Event 2. I made a mistake, clear and simple.”

The actual rules, which had been published online well before Regionals, stated athletes had to complete three successful overhead squats at their opening weight in order to advance in the workout. Ager, having been told that she didn’t have to complete her first set of overhead squats, completed two reps at 175 pounds in her first set.

Ager finished the Event outside the top 30, leaving her in 11th position overall.

According to the actual rules, Ager’s missed first set would have counted as a DNF for the workout, effectively ending her chance to qualify for the CrossFit Games.

With all the confusion, Justin Bergh, GM of the CrossFit Games clarified the situation as best as possible, saying that “The SoCal Regional is between these athletes… They’re competing for three very tough spots, and all athletes were held to the same standards here today,”.

Andrea Ager CrossFit

In an Open season that had a few dramas with some workouts being rejected, some could say CrossFit had its own version of the NFL’s “tuck rule” or even worse, the NFL’s Thanksgiving coin flip controversy. As CrossFit continues to gain legitimacy as a competitive sport, this error involving one of the sport’s most marketable and popular athletes had the potential to be a disaster had Ager qualified for the Games.

Even worse, for Ager, whose finish in this year’s Open should have more than justified her potential qualification for the Games, her performance would have been overshadowed by questions around whether she actually earned her spot or if she had unfairly been given a second life to qualify for the Games.

On her Facebook page, Ager was completely understanding of the issue, writing:

“This morning, I withdrew from the Southern California Regionals.

Anyone who knows me knows that my dream is to make it to the CrossFit Games, but not this way. I want to compete – and win – on a level playing field. I made the decision to open the OHS ladder at 175 lbs and I accept the consequences of that decision.

I’m still here to cheer on my friends & competitors. I admit it breaks my heart to be on the sidelines, but if I had somehow managed to stage a comeback & make it to the Games, everyone – including me – would have wondered if I’d fairly earned my spot. My coach and I decided that if I competed the rest of the weekend it wouldn’t be fair across the board, or the right thing to do.

I’d like to thank my family, friends, & fans for their unwavering support. CrossFit HQ has been more than fair and my sponsors and coaches have been terrific. Most of all, I’d like to thank Adrian Bozman for his gracious explanation of how I wound up with misinformation in the first place – there were no special rules for me; it was a simple mistake.

But since I can’t allow this mistake to overshadow the sport I love, I’ll be training for 2014.”

While some may argue Ager was too far down the leaderboard at that point to have qualified for the Games, Ager’s decision may have saved the 2013 CrossFit Regionals from being marked with an asterisk.

While other professional sports are plagued with controversies where athletes celebrate taking credit for missed calls, potentially rigged split decisions, and absurd decisions by umpires, Ager did the opposite and did right by the sport by withdrawing from this year’s CrossFit Regionals.

Many gyms preach the importance of making every rep count. Every person who regularly works out at a CrossFit gym knows people who regularly cut reps in chippers, inflate their tabata scores, and PR with 20-14-8 Fran’s. Ager’s decision to withdraw from the 2013 SoCal Regional, after she was given a public pass from CrossFit HQ itself, is arguably the most selfless decision made by an individual athlete in the history of CrossFit as a competitive sport.

Already one of the sport’s most popular athletes, Ager’s decision to choose the sport over her own personal goals, is a huge reason fans of the sport should be cheering for Ager to achieve her new dream of qualifying for the 2014 CrossFit Games.

* UPDATED 21/05/13 (PT) – Details about Andrea Ager’s results for Event 2 have now been updated after initialy reporting incorrect figure.

** The Rx Review has also posted a Editor’s Note response to this article, stating our opinion on the ‘SoCal Judging Missattement’. You can read it by clicking here.

Dave Chung

Dave Chung

Dave is an active member of the fitness and CrossFit community in Northern and Southern California at NorCal CrossFit and Paradiso CrossFit. With a love for pop culture, Dave has written for Rotten Tomatoes, AmericanIdol.com, Google, Billboard, and is one of Examiner.com's top health and fitness writers. When he's not doing CrossFit or writing about CrossFit, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen or attempting to max height box jump onto various objects while wearing his work clothes.
Dave Chung
  • mark

    How would she have scored 9th place on event 2? I don’t get that math? Wouldn’t every competitor who successfully completed 3 reps at any weight be ahead of a competitor that got 2 reps at 175? As an aside, I don’t see why the rules were such that she had to be eliminated from events 3-7. The scoring system alone would ensure that someone who gets a near last place on one wod would not advance to the Games. Would have been great to see her compete on the rest regardless.

    • Anon

      at #175, only 8 other people would have lifted more than she did by weight, but all the other competitors got to (and above) #175 by doing 3OHS at their starting weight, whereas she didn’t. That was what would have happened had she stayed in the competition. What you described is what actually happened where her score reflects she didn’t get 3OHS but had a “valid” score. She also withdrew, and wasn’t “eliminated” from events 3-7. She actually finished event 3 as well.

  • Guest

    She made the right decision there, way to go Andrea!

  • J Sarayba

    Agerbomb is the epitome of class and a true competitor!

    • matt

      what is classy about this? How is she a true competitor if she only competed for one day and then bowed out?

  • joe

    She withdrew because it was obvious she was not going to qualify. Get a clue. Klever did not even make the cut and she’s a former champ. Ager needs to move to another region if she ever wants to make it to the games.

  • Suz

    Mark, a DNF means you do not go on to the next WOD. She (and a few others) went on to do #3 as it was immediate after #2 (no break for another heat, etc.). If it was an injury and you didn’t do say #5, you couldn’t come back in and do #6. She got 9th because her weight attempted was 9th highest.

    • jb

      It does not matter how much weight you attempt. Did she complete the 3 reps? No. So she deserves a DNF exactly like every other girl across all the rest of the regions got.

  • Max Plank

    She was not the only girl in that video with 2 million hits. There were 3 or 4 others and it was not about fitness, but eye candy. Comparing it to Froning’s video is supposed to make what point exactly? That she’s up there with Froning when it comes to crossfit? If you can’t overhead 175 for 3 reps, you have no business at the Home Depot center. The rules were VERY clear and Bozman is overly generous to take all the blame. I knew what the rules were for that event and I’m not even in regionals and was only casually paying attention.

  • Russ Greene

    Dave,

    You missed a crucial element in this story. Bozman made the mistake of saying that there was no minimum work requirement. He did not say that athletes would get credit for lifting weights once or twice. When Ager decided to withdraw from the competition on Saturday, she had received a result of 17.52 on Event 2, dropping her to 11th place overall.

    It is true that on Friday evening the scoreboard initially credited Ager with 175.20 in Event 2. By Saturday morning, however, this error was corrected and Ager’s result had become 17.52. Contrary to your reporting, she was not still in 9th place on the Overhead Squat event, but in the 30′s, below every competitor who had completed all three reps at any weight.

    This correction dropped her from 6th to 11th overall. At that point, it was exceedingly unlikely, in my opinion, that she would have qualified for the Games.

    Now, she may have believed that she still had a shot, and it may have been considerate of her to drop out of competing, but your article greatly misrepresents the circumstances of her decision by misreporting her score on Event 2. Could you please correct this error?

    • Ali

      Two things:

      1. Does anyone really believe Bozman misspoke here? The guy knows all the WODs backwards and forwards. I doubt that a) he would misspeak and b) NONE of the athletes at the briefing, who had studied every aspect of these WODs for 10 days prior, would speak up to ask about the discrepancy between what he said and what the published standards said. C’mon. It seems pretty clear that the whole “I misspoke” thing was simply a lie designed to keep a high-profile athlete in the competition.

      2. Can someone explain the score of 17.52 to me? The way I understood it is the first number is the weight lifted, and the second number is the amount of reps at that weight. At least that’s what the standards say. But the winner of that event, Lindsey Valenzuela, has a score of 205.30…I know she didn’t OHS 205# 30 times. Probably did it 3 times…so HQ just threw random zeroes on the end of everyone’s scores? And what does 17.52 mean? 175.2 makes sense (even though it’s not a valid score): she squatted 175# 2 times. But 17.52? What does that even mean? Someone enlighten me.

  • MR MCGREGOR

    This is an article obviously prompted by a publicist. Seems that Ager is trying to become a crossfit celebrity even though she is not fit enough to make it to Home Depot center and she has hired a publicist. She dropped out because the competition was too tough and it would have hurt her chances with sponsors who are giving her consideration due to the 2 million hit video.

  • Rob S

    I agree with Russ. Her score of only OHS for 2 reps of 175 did not take any disturbance in the leaderboard that may have affected other athlete’s scores. On event two, she placed 31st, not 8th or 9th. But on the other point of view, yes there was a minimum requirement or it equates to a DNF. But, for this workout alone, I don’t think a minimum should have been applied. If you can’t squat the weight, then your last place. She could have and should have continued with the competition. To the very least, she atleast should have continued the competition to see how hard she could push herself and “measure” herself up against her region’s peers.

    • Ali

      Why should a minimum not be applied to a WOD that is called “7 minute ladder of 3 overhead squats”? If you don’t complete 3 overhead squats, you shouldn’t have a score. That’s a DNF, plain and simple.

      And why do you say that your logic should apply to this workout alone? That doesn’t make sense to me. If you can’t complete the work for any WOD, there are only two options that make sense: a DNF that removes you from competition, or a score of zero that allows you to move on. For Regionals, the DNF rule was applied. I don’t see a problem with it. There’s nothing about the 3 OHS ladder that makes it special.

  • Linda Thaw

    She did not correct Crossfit’s mistake. She did not know the rules (her mistake) and then she quit.

  • donald

    Quitting is the most selfless decision made by an individual athlete in the history of CrossFit as a competitive sport? How so? Don’t think you came close to making the case for that claim. It says specifically on the games page:

    “Minimum work requirement: 3 overhead squats at the opening weight.”

    Could not be more clear.

  • CROSSFIT BAWQLIN

    This is such a bush league Hollywood spin job. Ager quit to create this story line. Weak sauce. If you can’t grab a headline with your performance, then sit down and shut it.

  • Marco Grazia

    The quitter is a hero. Guess if you live long enough, you get to hear it all.

  • Mike Green

    why start at 175 lbs if you are too weak to OH squat 175 for 3 reps? Bad call and she got what she deserved.

    • Dallas

      Mike…did you even read the article? She was told by the HEAD judge that there was no minimum rep effort. That’s why she went for the big weight first. It is still her mistake but please read AND understand before you post the type of comment you posted!!

      • Mike Green

        Hi Dallas!

        Yes, I did read the article. I also read the rules on the Crossfit Games site which specifically says the following:

        “Minimum work requirement: 3 overhead squats at the opening weight.”

  • Todd

    Video doesn’t work. And nobody cares about Crossfit.

    • Fitz

      They why are you even responding?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mattyrog Matt Rogers

    She sounds like a quality person

  • Dave Webber

    Mr McGregor you a a cynic… but I think I agree with you about the publicist

  • gaguge

    Andrea Ager is a loser.

  • JERRY VAN LANDER

    Is this article a parody?Ager had no chance of making it to the games. The person in 3rd, Valerie Voboril, had 23 points after 7 workouts. Ager had 39 points after 3 workouts. Ager was toast after workout two where she received 31 points, which is 8 more than Voboril received the entire weekend.

    Get real!

  • do not quit

    quitting is always the wrong decision. she got a lucky break because Bozman mispoke. She should have gone with it and seen how well she could place. 3 years from now someone will look at the results from the game and see a quitter and nobody will care about this ridiculous back story.

  • yup yup

    Disappointed that there is no mention of the 4 athletes who qualified for the games and crushed Ager in the competition. The writer must think he has a chance to get in Ager’s pants. Bad news for you chump. She’s a dyke!`

  • TRUTH

    andrea ager sucks

  • colton

    Look, she works hard, has alot of heart, and pride. You people obviously dont care about the community of CrossFit how dare u pricks talk down to another competitor. Are u just pissed cuz u arent in regionals or wat?

    • Crossfit 4 Life

      Heart? Are you high? I want whatever you are smoking. She quit. She’s a loser.

  • Pingback: Editor's Note: The SoCal 'Judging Misstatement'

  • Pingback: Editor’s Note: The SoCal ‘Judging Misstatement’ | CROSSFIT VOLOS

  • Pingback: The Controversy of Day 1 at SoCal Regionals | Andrea Ager

  • batgirl

    Not sure why none of the other girls who DNF’d during that OHS WOD didn’t withdraw too…. Seems to me like Ager was the only one with some dignity and the other gals who technically DNFd too, took away spots from the women who actually deserved them. It’s not all about Ager… she wasn’t the only one to DNF, but she certainly was the ONLY one to own-it.

    • Crossfit 4 Life

      Dignity? When the going got tough, she quit. Her name is mud in the crossfit community.

      • batgirl

        She didn’t quit. She took her DNF and accepted it unlike the 5 others who went right back into the competition stating “they were confused” which is absolute BS. Everyone knew the rules way ahead of time and to say they were confused, well, they are lying. Ager took her DNF and didn’t continue on probably cuz everyone would have used her as an example of what NOT to do….. but now that she’s done the right thing, i’d like to see the other girls who DNFd, get talked about.

  • Crossfit 4 Life

    Funny to hear them trashing Ager during the live feed for workout 2 on the games site. Read the rules you dumb bitch!

  • Lucy

    The rules were very clear and there was plenty of time to practice the workout to know where to start. She chose the easy way out. She quit.

    • batgirl

      I don’t get how she quit… Ager and 5 others DNFd on their OHS and because of some dumbass stating they “didn’t get the right info”, they let them all slide and get back into the competition. Ager decided that wasn’t the right thing to do. That’s not quitting. That’s called owning it.

  • Hoo Yah

    good riddance. compete to win at any cost. if you are not cheating you are not trying. ask Castro where that saying comes from.

  • bucko wilbur

    this bitch is nuts. she’s praying and all that bs. get real. life the weight slut.

  • peter

    Does she give a good blow job? She sure can’t lift weights.

  • blow me biatch

    why is this lazy cunt getting so much press? she must be paying for it on her knees.

  • game on

    get off the stage loser.

  • shut it

    This girl is by far the biggest self promoter in any sport. Who puts dozens and dozens of youtube video’s of themselves working out…Andrea Ager does. She has never made it to the games and never will. Yes, she is above average at Crossfit…Good for her. I think she is far better at just being annoying though. The fact she she put out a statement stating why she quit is just funny. Hey “Agerbomb” nobody really cares so go enjoy the rest of your weekend at the beach or make another cool video to put on youtube. Good god, talk about taking yourself way to serious!!!