By JULIAN MENK
The University of Mary Washington men’s and women’s Ultimate Frisbee club teams are off to a great start in their championship seasons. The men’s team placed second at the sectional championship at St. Mary’s College in Maryland on Saturday, April 11, qualifying them for the regional championships.
The men’s Ultimate Frisbee team had a great year leading into the championship season with an early season sweep 6-0 of Division I competition at the unsanctioned George Mason Invitational last fall.
“We have never started out that strong before,” said sophomore Zach Norrbom. “We have changed the culture of our team from years past to becoming a more serious team thanks to our senior captains Sean Fredericks and Kyle Khalifa.”
Norrbom contributed to the new identity of the team due to his Ultimate Frisbee experience dating back to his high school days of playing in professional leagues.
In the spring 2015 semester, men’s Ultimate competed in two sanctioned tournaments, including the Woodside Invitational in Carrolton and the UVa. Invitational in Charlottesville.
At the Woodside Invitational, the men broke No. 3 seed to win the entire pool on the first day but had to forfeit the second match because of poor field conditions from inclement weather.
“Injuries come from wear and tear,” said sophomore Robbie Pratt. “However, bad field conditions greatly increase the chances for injury.”
The UMW women’s Ultimate Frisbee club team also played in two sanctioned tournaments. The first was at the UVa. Invitational in Charlottesville on Jan. 23 and 24, competing and losing against Division II competition. However, their season improved in March when they claimed their first victory at the University of Richmond.
“Our team is in the rebuilding process and have had quite a few injuries this season,” said junior captain Maggie Karrs. “We are ranked fourth in the region and have been working on putting players into different positions.”
The women’s club Ultimate Frisbee team qualified directly to the regional championships at Elon University in North Carolina, with no sanctioned sectional championship. The women won two of four rounds for the weekend of April 11 and 12 and placed seventh as a team, concluding their competitive season.
The UMW men’s Ultimate Frisbee club team will compete in the Regional Championships in Richmond on the weekend of April 25 and 26 with the chance of qualifying for Nationals.