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March 2, 2015

Rich Froning’s New Games Journey: Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom

Written by Damect Dominguez

Rich Froning may no longer be competing as an individual, but based on the evidence of last Thursday’s Open announcement, one might expect to see him at the Games once again this summer at the head of his new team: CrossFit Mayhem Freedom. That’s right—as of last week, Rich Froning is registered as a team competitor for the first time in a CrossFit Games season.

So what do we know about this squad? Let’s take a look at the Open Team Roster—available on

Rich Froning

Four-time CrossFit Games champion (2011, 2012,2013,2014)
Four-time CrossFit Open winner (2011,2012,2013,2014)
Two-time CrossFit Invitational winner (2012,2014)

James Hobart

Three-time CrossFit Games individual competitor (2009, 2010, 2014)
Three-time CrossFit Games team competitor with CrossFit New England (2011 Champions, 2012, 2013—2nd)
Finished 44th worldwide in 2014 Open

Matt Hewett

Two-time Central East Regional competitor (2013-9th, 2014-20th)
Finished 171st worldwide in 2014 Open

Elly Kabboord

Four-time South East Regional competitor (2011-19th, 2012-35th, 2013-23rd, 2014-13th)
Finished 468th worldwide in 2014 Open

Lauren Neal

Competed with CrossFit Mayhem at 2013 CrossFit Games (finished 27th)
Finished 4738th worldwide in 2014 Open

Kristin Reffett

Competed at 2013 Central East Regional (finished 17th)
Finished 178th worldwide in 2014 Open

Aside from Froning, the other big name on the team is six-time Games athlete James Hobart. Hobart finished 21st at the Games last summer. The other four members of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom have some Regional experience, but it’s hard to estimate what kind of success the team will have in this year’s CrossFit season. To compare, let’s look at how the athletes of 2014’s Team Champions—CrossFit Invictus—performed during last year’s Open. Below is a chart depicting the roster of Invictus’ 2014 squad, as well as their scores for each Open workout.

CrossFit Invictus 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Final 2014 Open Standing
Melissa Hurley 372 193 168 182 11:35 409th 3909 points
Heather Hippensteel 293 195 145 189 12:54 1507th

11599 points

Ayo Anise 315 140 169 185 13:24 1074th

8671 points

Rasmus Andersen 400 338 155 244 09:49 24th

634 points

Nuno Costa 397 320 152 218 09:58 79th

1462 points

Henry Lopez 360 322 155 250 08:45 84th  

1519 points

            Total points: 27,794


Now, lets look at the scores for the same workouts from the current CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team.

CrossFit Mayhem Freedom 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Final 2014 Open Standing
Rich Froning 444 359 177 277 08:26 1st

18 points

James Hobart 393 327 152 261 09:51 44th

1075 points

Matt Hewett 369 268 149 240 10:00 171st

2523 points

Elly Kabboord 351 194 143 190 10:40 468th

4296 points

Lauren Neal 270 133 130 181 15:35 4738th

32322 points

Kristin Reffett 367 255 154 187 11:22 178th

2279 points

            Total Points:



On paper, CrossFit Invictus has the edge on Mayhem Freedom. However, this is primarily due to Lauren Neal’s high score during last year’s Open. In fact, her final score was higher than the entire Invictus team combined. Remove that score, and it’s a much different story. However, numbers don’t tell the entire story; Neal is in fact a valuable competitor. She has competed at the Games before (as a member of CrossFit Mayhem in 2013), and anyone who has earned a trip to Carson is worthy of our respect.Now, lets look at the scores for the same workouts from the current CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team.

Granted, we have to keep in mind that we are comparing the fittest team from 2014 against a group of individuals who weren’t competing as a team last year. But what the numbers do reveal is that one person can make a difference. Indeed, that one person may be Rich Froning. The fact that Froning has won every single Open since 2011 should catapult Mayhem Freedom up the Central East leaderboard, as he should post an elite score for every workout. Add in quality scores from James Hobart and some solid numbers from the rest of the team, and CrossFit Mayhem Freedom may have enough to send them on to the Central Regional on the weekend of May 29th. However, only the top 15 teams from each U.S. region will advance to the Regional. At the time of publication, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom sits in 169th place, some way off that goal.

Though it’s still early in the Open, one can start to wonder: will Rich Froning be able to carry his team on to Regionals? Will we see the champ compete once more at the Games this summer?

Only time will tell!

Photo courtesy of Reebok

About Damect Dominguez

Co-founder of BoxLife Magazine. Author: Training Day: 400+ Workouts to Incorporate in Your Training.

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