Coast teen claims victory in world Crossfit championships

WORLD CHAMP: Bella Vallejo has been rewarded for her hard work with a championship at the CrossFit Games in California.
WORLD CHAMP: Bella Vallejo has been rewarded for her hard work with a championship at the CrossFit Games in California. Iain Curry

ISABELLA Vallejo has been breaking records around the country, but now she can add a world first to her list of achievements.

The Nambour 17-year-old was crowned the fittest female teen in the world when she took out the 16-17 years CrossFit Games championships in California on Saturday.

The Again Faster development squad athlete from CrossFit Marcoola was thrilled with her achievement.

Miss Vallejo was an underdog at the championships, coming in with a ranking of seventh in the world following the five-week qualifying Opens competition.

Bella Vallejo in training.
Bella Vallejo in training. Iain Curry

Miss Vallejo worked her way through seven tough events including muscle-ups, running and Olympic weightlifting movements.

She won three events and did not place lower than eighth in the remaining events during the three-day event.

The toughest category for Miss Vallejo was the last event, which was a series of muscle-ups and squat snatches, known in the CrossFit world as "Amanda".

Despite the stellar effort, Miss Vallejo was surprised to see her name at the top of the leader board.

"I didn't realise I was on top till I came home after the second workout. I thought I had come sixth in that event but realised they made a mistake and I came first," she said.

"I was over the moon.

"It was all over very quickly; it kinda doesn't feel like it happened.. .it's just all very surreal still."

Bella Vallejo in training.
Bella Vallejo in training. Iain Curry

This is the first year CrossFit has held a teenage section, a reflection on the popularity of young people taking up the sport, which incorporates gymnastics, fitness and weightlifting.

Miss Vallejo only took up the sport 12 months ago.

Her rise has been rapid and she regularly outguns the adults at her gym in Marcoola. She credits them for pushing her along.

"They are the most supportive crew anyone could ask for, we all get on so well and always have a fun time while pushing each other to our limits," she said.

But the teen has put in a massive effort since dedicating her gap year to reaching her potential in the CrossFit realm.

She has a semi-strict diet of "heaps" of vegetables, meat, rice, nuts and fruit and keeps active five days a week.

"On the weekend I can let go a little (with food)," she said.

"I trained five days a week, something long and tiring and outside the box, to complement my usual gym sessions.

"Thursday and Sunday were rest days."

Earlier this year, CrossFit Logic head coach Steve Stockley said he had noticed the drive and determination in Miss Vellajo.

"I could really see Isabella had a lot of potential and the right attitude," he said.

"This year we have really turned it up and the hard work has paid off. It is pretty amazing for a girl of her age to achieve such results."

Pre-event training

  • Multiple training sessions five days a week at the gym
  • Added something long and tiring outside the gym such as swimming, beach training or 10km row on a Monday and Wednesday morning.
  • Also extra competition style workouts such as strength training and Olympic weightlifting sessions.
  • Rest on Thursdays and Sundays.

Topics:  crossfit editors picks exercise fitness

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