Breaking: Mayhem Freedom Reveals New Roster, Sets Sights On Fifth Title
In an announcement befitting of the four-time Affiliate Cup champions, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom revealed the three new members of their competition team for the 2021 season via a livestream announcement special Tuesday.
The 18 minute YouTube announcement started with a highly produced video package that included a voice-over done by Rory Mckernan, a sit down interview with Rich Froning and the new team members, and some intricate storytelling behind the historical paths that ultimately led each athlete to the team.
The squad: Joining Froning will be a pair of former rivals who have chased the Mayhem Freedom team for years, and quite literally a member of Froning’s family to form an eclectic mix that will undoubtedly be the frontrunner for the top spot in 2021.
- Andrea Nisler: The 10th fittest woman as an individual in 2020, Nisler earned her spot through a career best 15th place finish worldwide in the Open, and has previously appeared at the Games four times in the team division with CrossFit OC3 and Timberwolf CrossFit, including a podium finish with CrossFit OC3 at the 2018 Games.
- Taylor Williamson: Williamson also qualified as an individual through the Open by finishing 30th worldwide in 2020, but declined her invite in favor of the team competition before the season was cut short. Alongside Nisler, Williamson was a fixture at the top of the Sanctionals podium, winning multiple events over the last two seasons including the team competition at the Rogue Invitational, and the Dubai CrossFit Championship.
- Chase Hill: The most intriguing addition to the team, Hill is actually cousins with Froning through his wife Hilary, and he previously qualified for the Games in 2020 with the Mayhem Independence team before the pandemic set in. Hill also qualified and competed as an individual during the Regional era, finishing 31st overall at the 2017 Central Regional.
It’s worth noting that the irony of adding two former rivals in Nisler and Williamson is not lost on the Mayhem crew, and the announcement video addresses the subject head on with Froning and Williamson both using the “if you can’t beat them, join them,” idiom, while all three admitted that their desire to compete and win is ultimately what brought them together.
- Nisler and Williamson are proven entities and as a duo are arguably one of the best female pairings in the history of the team competition, having slotted into the rosters of multiple teams during the Sanctionals era only to repeatedly find themselves on the podium.
- In fact they were part of the last team to actually beat Mayhem Freedom back in 2019 when they were members of the OC3 Black team that walked away as the inaugural winners of the Rogue Invitational. Their improvement as individuals, highlighted through their performances in the Open and Games, only increases what they are now bringing to the table as members of Mayhem Freedom.
The naming of Hill to the roster brings back shades of 2019, when Dre Strohm finally joined the active roster of the Mayhem Freedom team, helping them to a dominant win at the CrossFit Games after years of competing as an individual at the Central Regional
- Similar to Strohm, Hill’s engine and endurance will be a major addition to the team and Froning revealed in the announcement video he feels some personal responsibility in Hill’s success with the team at the Games following the lost season in 2020, and the previous loss of HIll’s father.
The big question now is who will step up to challenge Mayhem Freedom and as we inch closer to the kick off the season on March 11, the time is running out for some of the traditional powerhouse gyms to squad up accordingly to try and prevent the Affiliate Cup from spending another trip around the sun in Cookeville, Tennessee.