What If Froning Competed at Mayhem as an Individual?

January 14, 2020 by
Courtesy of @athleteseyephotography

The inaugural CrossFit Mayhem Classic came to a close on Sunday evening with the crowning of two champions in Tia-Clair Toomey and Chandler Smith, as well as invitations to the 2020 CrossFit Games extended to Luke Schafer and Feeroozah Saghafi (pending final Open backfilling). With respect to those great performances and all the athletes in the competition, arguably the highlight of the three-day competition was the performance of the Sanctional host, Rich Froning.

The Good Dudes: Froning competed in four of the seven programmed events in exhibition with Dan Bailey and Josh Bridges, who are all three collectively known as the Good Dudes. The Good Dudes brand of coffee was one of the sponsors for the event. Other CrossFit Mayhem athletes joined in on some of the events including current Mayhem Freedom teammates Tasia Percevecz, Chyna Cho and Scott Panchik. Haley Adams also joined in, competing in the event three exhibition on Friday evening.

What Happened: Froning was the only one of the exhibition athletes to compete in the four events. He won all four of the exhibition events, well ahead of the other athletes in his heat.

In Comparison: If Froning’s times were counted in comparison to the athlete that actually won the event in the competition, he would have won two events and finished second in two others. These are his times compared side-by-side to the event winners

  • Event 3: Froning – 6:25 | Samuel Cournoyer – 7:58
  • Event 4: Froning – 15:28 | Connor Duddy – 15:35
  • Event 5: Froning – 7:22 | Dylan Martin – 7:21
  • Event 7: Froning – 7:17 | Tola Morakinyo – 7:00

What If: The question we’ve all asked since Froning stepped away from individual competition after the 2014 CrossFit Games was “how would he fare against today’s athletes?” This event gave us our clearest answer, stepping on the individual competition floor for just the second time since going team, Froning showed he could not only compete but dominate in classic fashion. Prior to the Mayhem Classic, he took part in one event as an individual during the Rogue Invitational in the Legends Division, winning Amanda.

  • Based on the point system used at the Mayhem Classic, Froning scored 390 points which alone would have placed him in 11th place event if he scratched the remaining events.
  • Considering that Froning programmed and tested all the events multiple times it would be safe to assume he would have done well enough to place in the upper half of these events.
  • Also consider that no athlete in the competition field won multiple events and the eventual men’s winner average placing throughout the weekend was 5.8, Froning’s was 1.5.

More Numbers: Of course knowing the workouts and programming them gives a distinct advantage and again this in no way should take anything away from Smith, Schafer or any of the athletes competing on the floor. Another clear indication of Froning’s continued greatness lies in his Worldwide CrossFit Open scores since he stepped away to compete in the team competition.

  • 2020 – 19th
  • 2019 – 10th
  • 2018 – 10th
  • 2017 – 11th
  • 2016 – 2nd
  • 2015 – 2nd

The bottom line: In reality it means nothing, Froning has repeatedly made it clear that he has no desire to compete as an individual. He is committed to winning championships with Mayhem Freedom this year and the foreseeable future. But watching him compete this weekend you couldn’t help but think, what if?