Crossfit NYC Shines at the Meadowlands


Cleo Kirkland

Last Sunday the Crossfit competition Mayhem in the Meadowlands lived up to its name, as teams from boxes around the region put it all on the line at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ for an all-day, multi-WOD battle.  15 athletes from Crossfit NYC’s Competition Team were on hand to give the field a run for its money, and the results show that the team’s past year of hard work in the gym has more than paid off.  We asked coach Avery for her impressions of the team’s performance, and if these Mayhem WODs ended up playing into the hand of anything specific in the team’s programming:

“I am really impressed by the results from this weekend!  The most recent programming did not specifically address many of the movements featured in this event either due to logistics at our gym (i.e we don’t have tires to flip) or because we’ve been focusing on preparing for the Open the past few months.  However, the intense focus of this past year with perfecting everyone’s Olympic lifts and gymnastics skills, as well as improving conditioning is evident.  I also think that the volume of the Mayhem WODs was tolerable for everyone, because over the past year they have adapted to doing much more work in a single session or even doing double sessions at various times during certain phases of the Competition programming. I couldn’t be prouder of those that represented CFNYC this weekend!”


Burpees, Barbells & Beers

With five teams of three taking on multiple divisions at the event, highlight performances came from the Men’s RX, Women’s RX, and Coed RX divisions.  The team “Crab Walking from Snatches,” featuring Bobby Gorvetzian, Benjamin Fund and Cleosie “Cleo” Kirkland placed 2nd overall in the men’s RX division (out of 79 teams!).  The team “Hut Hut Snatch,” featuring Sofia Flynn, Shannan Wilson and Heidi Jones, placed 6th out of 24.  Morgan Newman, Sean Moore, and Phil Jonat teamed up as “Here for the Beer” and took 6th place out of 25 in the Coed RX division.

We caught up with Cleo and Shannan to ask a few questions about their experience at Mayhem in the Meadowlands.

How long was this event, and how many workouts did you do over the course of the day?

Kameron Mengel

Kameron Mengel

Cleo:  Super long day.  We were there for 11 hours (8:30 – 7:30).  I don’t think the people who ran the event were prepared to tackle that many teams.  There were a total of four WODs if you include the championship WOD, but a minimum of two hours between workouts.

Shannan: The day was quite long, my team (consisting of SoFly and Heidi Jones) was in the early heats for all of the WODs so we started first thing in the morning and didn’t end until fairly late in the afternoon. There were three WODs plus a 4th if you were “lucky” enough to place top 5 in you division.  Our team placed 6th in the Women’s Rx division.

Tell us about the standout events at the competition. Which WODs brought out the best in our teams?

Shannan:  I thought the Two Minute Drill was a great team event.  Everyone was able to use their strengths for the benefit of the whole team, and any individual weaknesses were more than overcome by the combined strengths of the team as a whole. Plus it had deadlifts. I love deadlifts!


Crab Walking from Snatches

Cleo:  The 40 Yard Dash required good timing.  Bobby is a big human, so it was hard to coordinate on the tire flip.  Ben and I had to be on the same page and push at the same time, and we had less real estate to do it in because Bobby is a BEAST.  That was a fun WOD.

The Extra Point required trust that your friends would hold up the weight, but the Two Minute Drill was the one WOD which separated the true teams from a collection of individual competitors. Transitions played a big role in our success.  Ben, Bobby, and I have done so many team WODs together that we have a great sense of each others’ strengths. This made transitions seamless and, according to a fellow competitor, made it look like we were all “beasting” everything.  In truth, we have difficulty with at least one of the movements in this WOD.  But we transitioned so well that our overall pace didn’t slow down, making it hard to see the seams.

Did you feel like the Mayhem programming put you at an advantage or a disadvantage given your team training over the past year?

Cleo:  Super advantage. I’ve gotten much stronger and quicker through Avery’s programing.  Speed kills in the short workouts.  I saw some of the bigger teams flip the tire as fast as our team, but lacked the speed in the box jumps to get a high score.  The elite level Crossfitters are strong, have great endurance, and are fast in all of their movements. This year, I’m going to work on endurance.

Shannan:  Team training has been fantastic! The whole experience has generally made me a better Crossfitter; without it much of my competition experience would be trial and error. Competition training has helped me find my mental and physical boundaries and push past them – in other words it’s been a huge advantage. I felt more than prepared to tackle all the WODs.

What did you learn from your experience in this competition?

Hut Hut Snatch

Hut Hut Snatch

Cleo:  Bring food.  The event was supposed to end at 3:00 so I thought I’d be fine.  I started to crash early.  Luckily my teammates are more thoughtful than me and brought extra food.

Shannan: You can never bring too many layers. It was pretty cold most of the day and I neglected to bring enough clothing because I didn’t want to drag it around, lesson learned.

What was the most challenging part of this competition?

Cleo:  Being there for such a long period of time.  Also, it’s a huge stadium and Mayhem didn’t have access to the PA system.  It was hard to hear updates and announcements.  Other than that, this was a huge success.  I can’t wait ‘til next year.

Shannan: The long waits between WODs…we had to wait an average of 2 to 3 hours between events. This makes it challenging for me to fuel myself, since I do not like to eat during a competition.

Would you change any aspect of your training based on your experience at Mayhem?

Shannan: Not at all. The WODs were pretty basic, none of the movements were new and like all Crossfitters I’ve prepared for the unknown and unknowable 🙂

JP LaFrance

JP LaFrance

: I think our training put us in the perfect position to win this event.  The team that beat us was part of a top level GAMES team.  They average four years of Crossfit experience a piece, and all qualified for Regionals as individuals. To go through three rounds of back and forth lead changes with these guys was unreal.  And to have Katie Hogan (what up Katie Hogan!) and everyone in the audience acknowledge how well we were doing was surreal.  When I woke up that morning, I didn’t think anything like this could happen.  I was just thinking “Damn, I’m hung over.”  So in my book, this event was a HUGE win.  2nd place is 1st place.  That’s why I call the picture of Bobby running towards the finish, “For the Win.” …Awesome weekend.  And, on a personal note, it feels great to win after a crappy Open for me.  I was sick and injured for a good part of it.

...For the WIN

…For the WIN

I was just looking through all the Men’s RX teams that finished in the top 10.  It’s filled with a ton of Regionals athletes from up and down the coast.  And, for the most part, all of them have a much lower average score on the Open than ours. We took second place in this kind of field, when none of us have more than a year and a half of Crossfit experience?  I’m sure some of them are like “WTF?” but it’s a testament to Avery’s programming.  Gain the skills and power you’ll need to compete, and the rest comes with experience.  Looking forward to next year’s Open!
Below is the complete list of teams that represented Crossfit NYC at Mayhem in the Meadowlands:
Crab Walking from Snatches (2nd – Men’s RX)
Robert Gorvetzian, Ben Fund, Cleosie Kirkland
Hut Hut Snatch (6th – Women’s RX)
Sofia Flynn, Shannan Wilson, Heidi Jones
Here for the Beer (6th – coed RX)
Morgan Newman, Sean Moore, Phil Jonat
Team JZK (21st – coed RX)
Kameron Mengel, JP LaFrance, Zoe Marinides
Burpees Barbells and Beers
(38th – Men’s RX)
Keith Jusino, Billy De La Rosa, Justin Weddle

Here for the Beer

Here for the Beer

Check out the complete team standings to see all Mayhem team results.  The complete list of WODs can be found on the Mayhem in the Meadowlands WODs page.

If you are interested in participating in the new Competition WOD classes at Crossfit NYC, first read the announcement about the competition class schedule.  You can direct further inquiry to coach Avery at

(all photos by Morgan Newman – full slideshow available here)