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BEA’s CrossFit phenom ranks among world’s best

By Staff | Apr 2, 2017

Hadley Mensing, a junior at Blue Earth Area High School, advanced past the first stage of a three-part international fitness competition hosted by CrossFit and its affiliates. Her workouts earned her placement among the top teen girls in Minnesota and the world.

Forget Ironmans and marathons.

Hadley Mensing, a junior at Blue Earth Area High School, is all about CrossFit. And if worldwide rankings for the fitness regimen’s international competition to find “the fittest on Earth” are any indication, Mensing is pretty good at it, too.

Founded at the turn of the century to combine everything from powerlifting and gymnastics to running and Olympic-style aerobics, CrossFit brands itself not only as a premier exercise plan but as the host of the 10-year-old CrossFit Games, a three-stage competition spanning roughly half a year and culminating in fitness tests for the “40 fittest men and women on Earth.”

Mensing, daughter of Neal and Brenda, just so happens to be among those fighting for that esteemed designation.

Training at Fairmont CrossFit, owned by Andy and Josie Sodersten just about 20 minutes from BEA High School, Mensing was deemed one of the top athletes of CrossFit’s North Central region, advancing along with finalists from 16 other areas to a three-day regionals competition in May.

And her big step forward came because of her near-state-leading performance from CrossFit’s Open, the first stage of the Games which included five weeks of high-intensity workouts, hosted and recorded by CrossFit affiliates across the world and, in Mensing’s case, in Fairmont.

Saying that “very few” even make it past the first stage of the Games, the Soderstens heaped praise upon Mensing for her fitness accomplishments.

“She ranked within the top 200 athletes of more than 2,100 girls worldwide,” they said. “Hadley is one of those athletes to move onto Regionals and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

The state of Minnesota, let alone Blue Earth Area, probably could not be prouder, either.

Among individual girls aged 16-17 in the CrossFit Games’ Teenage division, Mensing had the third best Open marks of anyone in the state, racking up reps of deadlifts, 50-foot lunges and just about any other challenge thrown her way.

And among all women in the state, she placed 123rd out of more than 1,200 athletes, earning a shot to compete in live regional workouts from May 19-June 4, when “top athletes from two or three regions combine and compete for the five qualifying spots” at the final stage of fitness testing, sponsored by Reebok.

Her 13th-place Open finish among North Central region athletes also helped ensure Mensing another chance to stay alive in the Games.

To think she had only been attending Fairmont CrossFit since July of 2016, too, made her high marks even more impressive.

“She hasn’t been doing it for very long,” said Josie Sodersten, “so she progressed without a ton of experience. But she comes into the gym at least an hour every day, rarely misses a day and is very dedicated.”

Nineteen different divisions make up CrossFit’s competition, dividing athletes by age and experience as well as whether or not they are vying to be a Games finalist as an individual or with a team.

By the time the final stage of workouts arrives on Aug. 1, CrossFit’s website says, “the field has been whittled down from hundreds of thousands of athletes in the Open to the world’s fittest 40 men, 40 women, 40 teams, 80 teenagers, and 240 masters.”

With more than 13,000 affiliates across the globe as what Forbes calls “one of the fastest growing sports in America,” CrossFit promises to unveil surprise fitness tests at the conclusion of the Games, hinting that past competitions have tasked athletes with completing “sandbag carries to ocean swims.”

And if Mensing, who has a separate fitness competition coming up in May and just recently completed another in Mankato, keeps lighting up the gym the way she has, the BEA junior could soon give the community, the state and the country even more reason to be proud.