CrossFit Games

CrossFit Mayhem Sends Three Teams to 2022 Games, Makes History?

May 29, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Athlete's Eye Photography
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With their victory at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, CrossFit Mayhem Independence secured a spot at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

For those counting, CrossFit Mayhem has now qualified three teams to the Games, making the Cookeville-based affiliate the first in history to do so. Or are they?

The details: In the first week of the Semifinals season, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and CrossFit Mayhem Justice qualified out of the Syndicate Crown, taking first and fifth respectively.

  • CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, the flagship team at the affiliate, is captained by Rich Froning. And while the team roster has gone through many iterations, it has won the team competition at the Games five times, challenging for a sixth this year. The current team roster includes returning members Andrea Nisler and Taylor Williamson, and new member, Samuel Cournoyer.
  • CrossFit Mayhem Justice is made up of members, Ben Davidson, Seth Stovall, Jessica Kalagian, and Anniston Sudhof. This will be the team’s first trip to the Games.
  • It’s worth noting that Mayhem had one more team lined up at the beginning of the season–Mayhem Libertad, including South American powerhouse athletes Nicolas Bidarte, Melina Rodriguez, Jimena Delamer and Santiago Comba. CrossFit disqualified the team early on due to a violation of the rulebook requiring athletes to train at the same location for a majority of the time.

With their run at the MACC, Mayhem Independence, consisting of Angelo DiCicco, Luke Parker, Alexis Johnson and Sasha Nievas, locked up the team’s third Games qualification (albeit with different rosters, and this will be only the team’s second appearance due to the 2020 cancellation of the team division at the Games).

  • Angelo DiCicco summed up the team’s reaction to the weekend’s results in a text with the Morning Chalk Up: “We’re super fired up! Ready for the next couple months of training.”
  • DiCicco’s favorite event from the weekend? “Thruster + Legless,” he said. “Come from behind victories always feel good.” Teammate Alexis Johnson added, “That or when Sasha hit some touch and go clean and jerks to secure the win on Event 4.” DiCicco agreed, “That was amazing.”

So, is CrossFit Mayhem making history? It’s complicated.

Remind me: Back in 2019, CrossFit Invictus sent three teams to the CrossFit Games–Invictus, Invictus X and Invictus Boston.

There are some caveats here though: 

  • The Invictus teams were not all from the same physical location. Two of the teams came from San Diego, the third was from Boston.
  • In 2019, “Superteams” were permissible, meaning that teams were allowed to select members from different affiliates.
  • That year, Games veterans like Sam Dancer, Margeaux Alvarez, Kristi Eramo O’Connell, Hayley Murillo, Royce Dunne, Kelsey Kiel, Tola Morikinyo, Rasmus Anderson, Lauren Fisher, Regan Huckaby, Tommy Vinas and others competed for Invictus.

The bottom line: Whether or not we consider this “making history,” one thing remains clear. CrossFit Mayhem has undoubtedly established an empire of sorts in central Tennessee— athletes from all over the world are uprooting their lives and moving to Cookeville for a chance to train amongst some of the best in the sport.

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