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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Ultimate teams’ success: bold statement about Carls

<rld of competitive ultimate frisbee, Carleton College is a tiny school with a national reputation. Despite the school’s prestige, our two top men’s club teams have the chance to make history this weekend. For the first time ever, both the Carleton Ultimate Team (CUT) and the Gods of Plastic (GOP) are in position to advance to the Division I national tournament in Madison. Carleton is hosting the Midwest regional tournament this weekend, where that unprecedented scenario could be realized.

In the 27-year history of the men’s national tournament, no school—regardless of size—has ever sent two squads. Large competitive schools like Colorado, Florida, Stanford, and Oregon have never cultivated two teams that could make it to the national stage. For most, it is unfathomable that a school of 1,900 could accomplish the feat.

The top four teams emerging from this weekend’s Midwest regional will advance to Madison. CUT enters Saturday as the top seeded team ahead of recent national champion Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Luther College. GOP comes to the tournament ranked sixth.

While only four teams can advance, GOP has proven that it can compete with the best A-teams in the country. Last month, GOP faced Minnesota—at the time the 3rd ranked team in the country—and won on a sudden death final point. Unfortunately, GOP can’t count on being underestimated and top teams are ready to bring their best game against Carleton’s “other” ultimate team.

Finishing in the top four in the tournament is not impossible. GOP can lose all of their games against CUT, Wisconsin, and Minnesota and still play in the fourth place game, likely against formidable, yet lesser-accomplished teams Iowa or Luther. If GOP makes it to Sunday’s fourth place game, they will have two very tangible advantages on their side: home field and home fans.

Carleton student enthusiasm for ultimate varies greatly, though. Many see the game as a glorified recreational sport with participants who take it—and themselves—much too seriously. Regardless of one’s attitude toward the game, it is undeniable that the success of our men’s and women’s teams personifies an independence that makes Carleton students unique. Our most notable and successful clubs are those that are student led and un-coached. We take pride in our ability to work independently and find our own ways to win.

At most schools, the few gifted student leaders and motivators find their ways to top teams while other organizations flounder. At Carleton, this leadership transcends rank. Our top teams win championships while the rest work to be the best competitors they can be—whether in Ultimate or otherwise.

The Carletonian encourages students of all frisbee persuasions to come out this weekend to support Syzygy, CUT, and GOP in their quests for national bids. Games will be played on the fields by West Gym, and behind the Rec Center. Tournament finals will be played on Sunday at Laird Stadium.

– The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian editors.

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