Strongest Mayhem Team Ever Part of Four Team Offering for 2022
In 2014 when Rich Froning announced his retirement from the individual side of competitive CrossFit and made the switch to the team division, few would have been able to foresee that his team career would eventually surpass his individual career in terms of accomplishments.
Heading into 2022 his teams have won five of the last six team competitions at the CrossFit Games dating back to 2015 (there was no team competition in 2020), and their only blemish came in the form of a runner-up finish in 2017. In addition to that, their second team, CrossFit Mayhem Independence placed fourth in 2018.
Inconsistency of their teams: Despite the fact the Mayhem teams have consistently been the team to beat year after year, their roster has changed every season, and it’s changing again for 2022. Here’s a breakdown of their roster year by year:
|Rich Froning||Rich Froning||Rich Froning|
|James Hobart||James Hobart||Darren Hunsucker*|
|Matt Hewett||Matt Hewett||Matt Hewett|
|Elly Kabboord||Elly Kabboord||Elly Kabboord|
|Kristen Reffett||Kristen Reffett||Kristen Reffett|
|Lauren Neal||Lindy Barber*||Lindy Barber*|
|Rich Froning||Rich Froning||Rich Froning|
|Matt Hewett||Dre Strohm*||Chase Hill*|
|Tasia Percevecz*||Tasia Percevecz||Andrea Nisler*|
|Lindy Barber||Chyna Cho*||Taylor Williamson*|
2022 Strongest Mayhem Team to Date?
Mayhem will be making only one change this year as last year’s 23rd fittest man at the Games, and third place finisher at Wodapalooza, Samuel Cournoyer will be taking the place of Chase Hill.
It has been largely talked about in the past year how talented Nisler and Williamson are in the team setting. Perhaps after Wodapalooza it is fair to say that if anything they are only matched by the impressive duo of Lena Richter and Ingrid Hodnemyr from CrossFit Oslo.
Last year’s team’s only real chink in the armor was Hill’s top end lifting numbers, and even so, in the isolated lifting test (Event 9, a three rep max back squat) they took the event win.
Cournoyer is excellent with a barbell and has top end Olympic lifting strength. He has completely bought into the Mayhem programming and lifestyle. He has left his family in Canada to be a part of this team this year. And if Froning has been able to dominate the Affiliate Cup with male counterparts like Dre Strohm and Chase Hill, who are incredible athletes, but not of the caliber Cournoyer has shown to be, there is no reason to think this won’t be the best Mayhem team we’ve ever seen.
Can anyone challenge them?
Reference our Teams to Watch for the 2022 Season piece (publishing Thursday, February 24) for more info, but there are certainly other talented teams in the field this season who will think they have the capacity and drive to at the very least challenge Mayhem Freedom.
An Arsenal of Teams?
Mayhem Freedom won’t be the only Mayhem team you’re likely to see on the leaderboard this year. In fact, they are set to roll out four competition teams this season. In addition to Mayhem Freedom:
- Angelo DiCicco
- Luke Parker
- Sasha Nievas
- Alexis Johnson
Mayhem Independence is back! The last time a team by this name was at the Games was in 2018, they placed fourth that year. This is an entirely new roster, so there’s no data to compare in that regard. But what we do know is that Mayhem’s “second” team has been close to the podium previously. The team landscape is a bit different now, but this team on paper looks like it will at the very least be able to qualify for the Games.
- Nicolas Bidarte
- Santiago Comba
- Melina Rodriguez
- Jimena Delamer
Team Mayhem Libertad enters the fray in the South American region this year, and without knowing if any other new teams are emerging in that region this season, this team is immediately in the running for one of the two Games spots their region gets. All four members competed in the South American Semifinals as individuals last year. Bringing four individual athletes together like that does mean they’ll lack some team experience, but individual talent has proven to get pretty far in the past.
- Ben Davidson
- Seth Stovall
- Anniston Sudhof
- Jessica Kalagian
The fourth Mayhem team is also located in Cookeville and will be the closest thing to a true affiliate team amongst the four. You might not know these names well, but Jessica Kalagian earned a backfill invite to Semis last year, and Ben Davidson only missed making it by a handful of spots after backfills went out. This team should not have an issue making it to Semifinals, and has the potential to be a fringe Games team in the North American region.
Big Picture: Mayhem Nation is blowing up across the globe. Rolling out four teams this year is another major move for their competitive brand. They are likely to get three, if not all four, of these teams to the Games. If it does end up being four, that’s ten percent of the entire Games field.