Emily, Lauren and Will Kurtz are not your typical Dawson County freshmen. On top of being triplets, they are also high-level CrossFit athletes, who recently finished their qualifying rounds for the 2020 Reebok International CrossFit Games.
During the qualifying, which finished on Monday, March 16, the triplets had to compete in five different timed competitions in five days, starting on Thursday, Mar. 12. To qualify for an opportunity to make it to the CrossFit Games, the triplets had to place in the top 200 competitors in an online competition in October 2019.
The triplets say they were introduced to CrossFit by their aunt when they were in the second grade, and all quickly agreed that CrossFit was their favorite sport.
“We like the competition and the atmosphere and the community,” Emily said. “Everyone is really nice and always supportive no matter what level you’re at.”
Lauren and Emily, who both play softball for the Dawson County Lady Tigers, were in the middle of their softball season in October when the first open occurred. And with Will amidst his first football season, the triplets were only coming to the gym twice a week.
When all three earned the opportunity to compete for the CrossFit Games, the siblings started coming to Dawson CrossFit, the gym where they train, five times a week to get ready.
Ken Kurtz, the triplet’s father, said that they made the decision to train hard after all three made the cut for the qualifiers. The triplets got trainers, which they like to call their ‘advanced athletes,’ and started participating in the adult’s workouts rather than the classes that Dawson CrossFit runs specifically for teens.
Before that, Lauren said that the family of five would all go to the same classes together and compete against one another, something they cannot do in the sports they play separately.
“It gives us a challenge when we’re working out together,” Will said. “It gives us something to push for and do better than each other. It’s like a sibling fight of who can do the best.”
Other than the typical nerves one gets before a competition, the Kurtz siblings agreed the contest had not done much to them mentally, but by the end of the qualifiers, they were feeling very sore because of the multiple workouts a day.
Will was sick and did not participate in any workout on Thursday, so he had to do three entire workouts on Friday and two more on Saturday to catch up.
On her first workout Thursday, Lauren cut her hands open and struggled with injury for the rest of the weekend. However, all three Kurtz siblings persevered and finished the workouts Monday night.
“They have worked so hard and given everything they had,” their mother Kim Kurtz said. “I couldn’t be any prouder.”
To qualify for the 2020 Reebok International CrossFit Games in Wisconsin, one has to finish in the top 10 of their age group.
Though none of the Kurtz siblings finished in the top 10, according to the leaderboards on crossfit.com, all three improved on their national rank.
Lauren Kurtz said that most kids their age who qualify for the CrossFIt Games are homeschooled and will train two or three times a day. However, even though she said their lives revolve around school and sports, none of them would want to do that.
“I’d much rather live my life,” Emily Kurtz said.
Though training at Dawson CrossFit for the qualifiers has become part of their daily routine, the Kurtz have still found time to act like kids. Emily said she loves reading and Lauren likes to watch Tik Toks when she can.
The Kurtz siblings said they will enjoy their resting time while school is cancelled due to concerns involving the COVID-19 virus, but they will not be able to avoid CrossFIt for too long.
“There was a period of time that we hated CrossFit,” Lauren said. “We didn’t have any friends here and we weren’t really trained for everything. But if we hadn’t stuck with it and hadn’t started in the second grade, I bet we wouldn’t be as good at it as we are now."