Three months before the National Pro Fitness League (NPFL) kicks off its first season, the Los Angeles Reign have quickly signed up what could arguably be the league’s most impressive preseason roster.
Granted, a match hasn’t taken place for the team-based league, but the wealth of individual CrossFit Games experience, including a 2013 CrossFit Games champion, signed to the Reign will likely make them one of the teams to watch this Summer.
Read on to learn more about Los Angeles Reign’s impressive athletes
As the reigning “Fittest woman on Earth,” 2013 CrossFit Games champion Samantha Briggs could be the NPFL’s biggest signing to date.
Previously, Briggs placed 4th at the 2011 CrossFit Games. She took first place at the 2013 Europe Regionals before winning the Games in Carson, California. Briggs was injured for the 2012 Games season.
This year, her momentum as one of the world’s fittest athletes continues. Briggs finished atop the Women’s leaderboards for the 2014 CrossFit Games Open and is well-positioned to defend her title at this year’s Games.
A firefighter and gym owner, Briggs has been doing CrossFit since May 2009.
Competing out of Colorado, Becky Conzelman is a three-time CrossFit Games veteran and one of the world’s top Masters athletes.
In 2011, Conzelman placed 24th at the CrossFit Games. The following year, Conzelman finished in 14th place. In 2013, as a Masters athlete, Conzelman placed 2nd in the world.
The 42 year old Conzelman started her CrossFit training in August 2009 at well-known affiliate Outlaw CrossFit.
On her personal website, Conzelman writes,
I am very thankful that at age 42, the Lord has not only blessed me with a loving and supportive family and group of friends, but is allowing me to compete again. I could not do this without their commitment, love and support.
After sitting out the 2013 CrossFit Games season to take care of his family, Jon Pera qualified for the 2014 CrossFit Games Regionals in Southern California, but recently declined his individual invitation to compete as a team athlete with CrossFit Foothill.
In 2011, Pera finished in 41st place at the CrossFit Games. After a top performance in the SoCal region during the 2012 CrossFit Games Open, Pera went on to place 23rd at the CrossFit Games.
With a 1:19 Grace, 500 pound deadlift, and over 450 pound back squat, Pera’s upcoming team experience will likely make him one of the Los Angeles Reign’s most valuable athletes.
With a second place finish at the 2013 CrossFit Games, Lindsey Valenzuela is not only one of the world’s fittest athletes, she’s one of the United States’ top Olympic weightlifters.
Valenzuela started her CrossFit training in 2009, a year in which she would finish in 13th place at South West Regionals. In 2011, Valenzuela finished in 34th place at the CrossFit Games. The following year, Valenzuela took 9th place at the CrossFit Games.
During that same time period, she also placed 2nd at the 2011 US Weightlifting Championships and won the 2012 Outlaw Open.
Valenzuela currently stands in 7th place in Southern California following the 2014 CrossFit Games Open.
Orange Coast CrossFit’s Kenny Leverich is one of the world’s top CrossFit athletes.
Leverich started his CrossFit training in 2010 and has been a staple of the SoCal region leaderboards ever since. During the 2012 CrossFit Games Open, Leverich finished not only 1st in Southern California, but 3rd in the world overall.
With a football and rugby background, Leverich has plenty of team sport experience to bring to the Los Angeles Reign.
Chris Dozois is one of the rare athletes who could potentially qualify and compete as either an individual or Masters athlete after the Open.
Dozois started CrossFit five years ago to help him with his lacrosse game. His athletic background includes time playing college football at Colorado State University. Interestingly, Dozois and Los Angeles Reign teammate Becky Conzelman train at the same affiliate.
Dozois boasts an incredible 600 pound deadlift and 535 pound back squat to go with a max set of 74 pull ups.
With two CrossFit Games affiliate (team) championships to his name, Tommy Hackenbruck could be one of the NPFL’s most experienced team athletes.
Prior to “going team,” Hackenbruck was already one of the world’s top CrossFit athletes. At the CrossFit Games in 2009 and 2010, he would finish in 2nd and 9th place, respectively.
On Ute CrossFit’s website, Hackenbruck writes,
At 29 years old I am stronger than when I was playing college football, yet my endurance is the best it’s ever been and my overall fitness is the best it’s ever been. I have two beautiful, young children and I’m sure I will be able to “keep up” with them well into their adulthood!
Since starting CrossFit in 2010, similar to Reign teammate Lindsey Valenzuela, Elisabeth Akinwale has quickly become a top CrossFit athlete and one of the United States’ top weightlifters.
With a background in gymnastics, Akinwale combines gymnastics and weightlifting skills at world class levels. In addition to being a CrossFit Games veteran and one of the strongest women competing in CrossFit today, Akinwale balances being a professional athlete with being a mother.
She wrote on her blog,
Parenting is like breathing to me; it doesn’t stop because of any other task or activity. “Parent” really isn’t a title — it’s a state of being.