CrossFit Games

New Year, New Roster For CrossFit Mayhem Freedom

January 24, 2021 by
(Source: Gregg Wilson)
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The reigning and defending Affiliate Cup champions, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, will have an entirely new look for 2021 as they try to win their fifth overall and third consecutive title.

A combination of personal developments within the roster and new rules governing the team competition have forced the most dominant team in CrossFit Games history to revamp their roster yet again as a new system, and a new era of competition is ushered in for this season. 

Remind me: The 2020 Mayhem Freedom team of four roster included owner and team captain Rich Froning alongside Chyna Cho, Tasia Percevecz, and new addition for the season Scott Panchik. The team won both Sanctionals it competed in before the season was cut short and the team competition at the Games was cancelled (Strength in Depth, Wodapalooza). 

This season Froning will be the only athlete from the roster returning to the team and he’ll have to find replacements for the three other athletes on the roster from a year ago. 

  • Scott Panchik switched back to the individual competition after the new team rules deemed him ineligible due to the fact that he lives more than 100 miles away from CrossFit Mayhem. Additionally if he is the Licensee of Record (LOR) for his affiliate, CrossFit Mentality, he would also be ineligible in the event he moved to Cookeville.
  • Chyna Cho is in a similar boat as Panchik, and is outside of the 100 mile range living out west in California along with co-owning Good For You CrossFit alongside her husband Freddie Camacho. 
  • Tasia Percevecz recently announced that she would forgo competing in 2021 due to some lingering adrenal and hormonal issues from training, and would instead be focusing on getting healthy and support the training the of the team along with Chyna Cho and Haley Adams, who Percevecz coached at the Ranch for the 2020 Games. 

Same same, but different: The notion that Rich Froning and company will have to refresh their roster while still maintaining their place a the top of the mountain is not far fetched by any means, and their repeated ability to do so has been a mark of their dominance, evidenced by the rosters of their four championship teams. (Italics indicate new athlete for the season.)

  • 2015 CrossFit Games: Rich Froning, James Hobart, Matt Hewett, Kristen Reffett, Elly Kabboord-Kearcher, Lauren Neal.
  • 2016 CrossFit Games: Rich Froning, James Hobart, Matt Hewett, Lindy Barber, Kristen Reffett, Elly Kabboord-Kearcher.
  • 2018 CrossFit Games: Rich Froning, Matt Hewett, Tasia Percevecz, Lindy Barber.
  • 2019 CrossFit Games: Rich Froning, Dre Strohm, Tasia Percevecz, Chyna Cho.
  • 2020 Season Roster: Rich Froning, Scott Panchik, Tasia Percevecz, Chyna Cho.

In fact, none of the Mayhem Freedom teams have stayed constant and it only adds to the impressiveness of the feat. The team competition has made tremendous progress in the baseline fitness level of the athletes that compete for the Affiliate Cup at the Games since Froning left the individual side. 

A common idiom in sports for top tier organizations is that “they don’t rebuild, they reload,” and in past seasons Mayhem has proven to fit the bill. The big difference this year is the sheer magnitude of the talent included in the roster turnover, and in past years the team typically had to replace one or two individuals at most.

  • As deep and as talented as CrossFit Mayhem has proven to be as a gym, replacing three former individual Games athletes with a combined experience of 18 appearances at the CrossFit Games is a tall task.

Mayhem’s saving grace might be an athlete’s willingness to move or commute to Cookeville, and in past seasons this has proven to be the case with Lindy Barber, James Hobart, Elly Kabboord-Kearcher, and Percevecz. 

  • The 100 mile radius rule will still be a major factor and it should be noted that Nashville, a recently popularized training hub for athletes like Brooke Wells, Alec Smith, Will Moorad, and Streat Hoerner, is only 80 miles away.

The big question still remains about who will round out the roster, and for the most part the Mayhem crew has stayed mum on the topic. The team has yet to register for the Open and select a roster, which will be the final word on who will be tasked with carrying the Mayhem mantle forward in 2021. 

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