Trojan Athletes: Joey and Becca Denison tackling CrossFit

Published 9:22 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

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Joey and Becca (Hartley) Denison were both star athletes growing up in Troy and went on to be star athletes at Troy University. Now, the couple is tackling a new sport, CrossFit.

The pair competed at Wodapalooza, a worldwide CrossFit competition, in Miami, Fla., this past January. CrossFit is a “fitness regime that involves constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” CrossFit incorporates numerous forms of fitness and sport including weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics and more.

The Denisons began CrossFit when they moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., a number of years ago.

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“We started CrossFit in 2018 as a way to get plugged into a new community,” Becca Denison said. “We did it to kind of meet new people and start forming relationships and things like that. We started competitively training about three years ago. We’ve been to local and national competitions.”

Joey Denison earned Sun Belt Player of the Year at Troy. (Photo courtesy of Troy University Athletics)

The Denisons were no strangers to athletics, however. Becca Denison was a star softball and volleyball player at Charles Henderson High School and went on to become an All-Sun Belt softball player at Troy University. She was even nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year as a senior. Meanwhile, Joey Denison was an All-American baseball player at both Charles Henderson High School and Troy University. He also earned Sun Belt Player of the Year as a senior at Troy.

Becca Denison and Joey Denison both qualified for Wodapalooza back in the fall. Becca Denison qualified on a team of three females, finishing 17th overall out of 28 teams, while Joey Denison’s team of three males finished 18th out of 30.

“It was good,” Becca Denison said of the competition. “They sent out invitations to other professional competitors, so it was challenging for sure. Our teammates don’t live in Chattanooga – we were kind of spread out over the Southeast – so we weren’t able to train together as much as we would have liked.

Becca (Hartley) Denison was an All-Sun Belt softball player at Troy. (Photo courtesy of Troy University Athletics)

“It was so much fun, though. Miami in January is amazing and we got to be there and compete with some of the people we watched and attracted us to the sport. That was a cool experience.”

While competing is fun, CrossFit helps the couple bond, as well.

“It’s really cool that it’s something we both do together,” Becca Denison said. “It takes a lot of time and sacrifice, mentally and physically. To be able to do that with someone else makes it easy and more fun.

“Another reason we started doing it is that we’ve always been competitive and involved in sports at the highest level we could compete at. This is another way for us to stay competition individually or on a team.”