“The Fittest” is a term that hasn’t been passed around Cookeville too much. It’s a mantle that’s belonged to one man since he first won the CrossFit Games in 2012. Since then he’s won three more individual titles and six team crowns. This year, he’s passed the baton to Mayhem’s new team leader. Not an unfit man himself, Angelo DiCicco.
Angelo has his own CrossFit story dripping in gold. He’s been the fittest teen twice in 2015 and again in 2017, with a 3rd place finish in between. Last year he, and his Mayhem Independence team, won their Semi-Final and finished 5th at the CrossFit Games. He’s also the Fittest Firefighter and Fittest First Responder and has been known to sport a killer ‘tash. “Team is way more fun and after last year it just felt like the right move for me,” he explained.
This year, Angelo is tasked with being the link between the past and the future of CrossFit Mayhem and getting the Mayhem name engraved on the Affiliate Cup again and Sam DeMeester, Zoe Jones and Kyra Milligan will be helping him do it. DiCicco didn’t find it all too complicated piecing a team together to carry on the legacy “Zoe was initially interested after going team for the last two years. Her boyfriend Sam hopped on while we started looking for a guy and Kyra’s boyfriend and coach Kiefer Lammi was in town and mentioned a potential interest in going team, it was a pretty smooth process.”
Sam DeMeester is no stranger to bravery, last month when Brian Friend was in town he was the only one brave enough to venture onto the disc golf course with him and, now, he’s turning up again on Rich Froning Way in Cookeville ready to take on his next challenge “definitely feeling the pressure from outside and inside, but, there’s no better fuel for training” he said. Originally from Michigan, Sam and Zoe moved to Cookeville last October to train as individuals but after being around for a while “Angelo asked us if we had interest in going team and the ball for rolling from there”.
Zoe Jones was also in Madison last year with 8th Day CrossFit finishing 10th, a four place improvement on the previous year with the same affiliate. Two years of Games team experience is a valuable asset to any affiliate trying to make another push for gold.
Kyra Milligan, an Underdogs athlete, will be commuting from Vegas. She’s going team off the back of two Semifinal appearances although it wasn’t really on her radar until about a month ago. Her coach and partner, Kiefer Lammi, was in Cookeville and had a conversation with Luke Parker and Angelo that resulted in a change of focus for Kyra this season. “Regardless of what team I’m on, I’m doing my best for that team. I’m not nervous to be on a Mayhem team. What I am nervous about is being the one that may bring the team down, which is inevitable in a team sport, you can’t always be the best one” she explained, before continuing “I’m super excited for the season and grateful for Angelo, Sam and Zoe for asking me to be a part of Mayhem’s team”.
Mayhem are winners. Their history is steeped in victory. The very name carries a weight of expectation with it. This Mayhem team will be judged, rightly or wrongly, through comparisons with Froning’s Freedom teams of the past. This Mayhem team is ready for the challenges that it faces “There will be a lot of external pressure being the top Mayhem team in Madison, expectation comes with the name. Make enemies in your mind whether they’re your friends or not, you want to beat the competition” DiCicco said and, when asked what the goal was, he replied “win everything”.
Sounds familiar. The Mayhem way.