Hatfield keeps his word, qualifies for Crossfit Games

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Last May, Austin Hatfield of Beckley burst onto the international CrossFit scene during the semifinals in Orlando, Florida. As a largely-unknown 23-year old from southern West Virginia, he came within a few points of qualifying for the prestigious CrossFit Games. 

In an interview with RealWV the next day, Hatfield vowed he would back in 2024. And last week, he kept his word. Hatfield made the Top 10, earning his spot in the 2024 CrossFit Games. 

Semifinals in Knoxville

Some 150,000 athletes from across the world attempt to qualify for the CrossFit Games each year. The Eastern Division USA is a perennial powerhouse division, producing nearly half of the finalists annually. 

“The east is the hardest,” Hatfield says. “I had some eyes on me leading into this year.” 

Forty athletes descended on Knoxville, Tennessee, for the semifinals. 

“You had to do a series of qualifiers to make it there,” says Hatfield. “The 40 of us were competing for 11 spots (in the finals).” 

Hatfield performed well, coming in 8th place overall and qualifying for the 2024 CrossFit Games, just like he said he would a year ago after missing out by only a few points. 

But if you think he’s satisfied, think again. 

“I left too many points on the table,” he said afterwards of his semifinal performance. “Even though I made it to the finals comfortably, I belong more towards 4th or 5th place.”

Look out, Texas

The 2024 CrossFit Games are being held August 8-11 in Fort Worth, Texas. Hatfield has  already booked his flight. And until the wheels go up, he will be focused on training. 

“It does take 100% dedication even to make it to this point,” he shares. “Now you have to turn that up a notch for the finals. It’s all in.”

Hatfield won’t be alone. In addition to his crew of family and friends from the Beckley area, he is part of a team. CrossFit Mayhem is a well-known team based in Tennessee with a track record of success at the games. 

Hatfield says he is entering with two goals in mind. “You always want to win. Also being a rookie, I’m in the running for rookie of the year. That’s a goal that’s achievable.”

He knows he’s entering a whole new level of competition. “They put you through the ringer at this stage,” he confides. “It’s the Top 40 in the world.” 

Athletes will be ranked for the remainder of the year based on their performance at the games. They also compete for major prize money, with the winner taking home from than $300,000. 

“They pay pretty good,” Hatfield laughs. 

At only 24, Hatfield is early in his career. He says most CrossFit athletes peak in their late 20s and early 30s. “Hopefully, I’m creeping up on that.” 

Based on his incredible performances so far, he’s not only creeping up on his prime…he’s roaring into it, full throttle. 

Hatfield owns Redline Fitness in Beckley and will compete at the CrossFit Games this August. Stay tuned to RealWV to follow his progress.

Beckley’s Austin Hatfield is racing up the CrossFit rankings as a 24-year old rookie. This August, he tests himself against the world’s Top 40 athletes in the prestigious CrossFit Games in Texas.
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