Consistency helped Jadzia Onorati-Phillips become a constant fixture in her sport. But she is always looking to go further.
Onorati-Phillips, 17, of Marysville, recently qualified for the 2022 CrossFit Games. She is one of 10 athletes in his class (girls ages 16-17) who will participate in the global event, which kicks off August 3 in Madison, Wisconsin.
“I am very excited to try to do better than last year,” said Onorati-Phillips, who finished fourth in 2021. “I have learned a lot and I have more experience. I have not competed in person. in a time. I’m really excited to get back and just compete with people and feed off that energy.”
CrossFit is a fitness program named after the company that created it, CrossFit LLC. The organization has thousands of affiliated gyms around the world. Athletes can train recreationally or competitively. Onorati-Phillips does the latter.
“CrossFit is a combination of gymnastics, plyometrics, weightlifting and resistance training,” said Onorati-Phillips trainer Bradley Berlin. “We’re taking elements from all those different disciplines and mixing them into the workouts so that you produce a varied fitness overall.”
Berlin is the head trainer for CrossFit Maven in Rochester Hills. Onorati-Phillips makes the trip from Marysville to the facility six days a week.
“She is one of the fittest teenagers in the whole world,” Berlin said. “She’s training more in a day than most fit people do in a week. She’s going to do a 5K, gymnastics, some weightlifting, and then we’ll work on other strength stuff. Then she’ll be gone.” “. and later that day she might as well go training with swimming.”
Onorati-Phillips trains up to four hours a day. But that kind of commitment is not new to her. She put in a similar amount of preparation during her nine years of gymnastics.
“What impresses me most about Jadzia is her dedication,” said David Phillips, father of Onorati-Phillips. “Once she sets her mind to something, she goes after it.”
When her gymnastics career ended in early 2019, Onorati-Phillips wanted a new challenge. She had seen her parents participate in CrossFit while she was growing up and she decided to give it a try.
“She really fell in love with it,” said David Phillips. “When we’re sitting around the table, we talk about CrossFit. So there’s a common thread in our lives that we can all relate to.”
“I enjoy the diversity that you get with it,” Onorati-Phillips said. “Every day, you’re doing something new. So it never gets boring. You can track your progress through it and really see improvements day by day.”
But her daily routine involves more than just CrossFit. Onorati-Phillips is a sophomore at Blue Water Middle College, a three-year program that allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. She has already completed the high school part and will finish her degree next year.
“Obviously the university has fewer meeting times,” Onorati-Phillips said. “So I have a relatively flexible schedule when it comes to training. I’ve been doing it my whole life with school and gymnastics.”
After starting online learning in elementary school, Onorati-Phillips has perfected the balance between athletics and homework. She would sometimes set aside weekends to complete assignments.
“She hasn’t had a traditional school (experience),” said David Phillips. “She’s always been in the online school program here in Michigan. She just shows in my mind that she’s capable of it. She’s capable of understanding what’s important and being able to prioritize those things.”
Diligence has helped her get back to this point, as the road to the CrossFit Games is a long one. The season kicked off in February with the CrossFit Open. Athletes who finished in the top 10% of their class advanced to the quarterfinals. From there, the top 30 were invited to the semi-finals. Only the top 10 individuals moved to Madison.
“We definitely think she can make it to the podium, that she’s in the top three,” Berlin said. “We are training her and preparing her so that she has a chance to fight to be the best in the world. I don’t think any place on the podium is out of her reach.”
“I want to win,” Onorati-Phillips said. “Obviously winning, but also getting on the podium. I also want to feel like I did everything I could. Then I’ll finish where I need to be.”
But it’s where she is now, along with who she is, that has made those around her so proud.
“His mother and I are elated that he continues to make progress,” said David Phillips. “And that his love for the sport continues to grow. He has lived up to all of our expectations when it comes to the game. From our perspective, he cannot let us down no matter what.”
“She is a very dynamic person,” Berlin said. “She’s so much more than an athlete. She’s super smart and very mature. Everything she does is going full steam ahead.”
Contact Brenden Welper at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @BrendenWelper.