April 21, 2023 | SPORTS | By Olivia Xerras
For the first time in Colorado College Men’s Ultimate history, the USA Ultimate-sanctioned Rocky Mountain Division III College Men’s Conference Championships were held at Colorado College, taking place on Saturday, April 15 on Washburn Field.
Ranked No. 2 in the nation, the team better known as Wasabi has the potential to advance to No. 1 after a sensational conference playoff run this past weekend.
The team faced off against three hopeful opponents, all itching to secure a first or second place position in conference to advance to regionals.
Seniors and leaders of the Wasabi squad, Oliver Kraft and Lincoln Grench, explained their lack of concern over their conference opponents before Wasabi’s team practice on Thursday. “We’re going to dunk on everybody,” shared Kraft. “That’s the plan anyways,” responded Grench.
Dunk they did.
Wasabi finished 3-0 on Saturday, winning all three games by double digits, including a shutout against Colorado Christian University.
For those unfamiliar with ultimate frisbee, Kraft and Grench explained that the game is similar to a 7-on-7 game of soccer, except the athletes can’t move when they have the frisbee. The game is self-officiated and is played on a field that’s half the width and about the same length as a football field.
The main objective is to gain points by scoring goals. The disc must be passed from person to person, and a goal is scored when an athlete passes the disc to a teammate in the opposing team’s end zone. This weekend, Wasabi’s opponents were only able to do this a total of eight times.
The games this weekend were fast-paced and fun to watch. As the No. 2 team in the nation, the skill level among all 24 members is high. The distance and accuracy with which the disc was thrown, as well as the team’s knowledge of the game, was obvious from their fast-paced decision-making while playing.
They appeared unstoppable and raised questions of how worthy these conference opponents were of Wasabi’s time. When asked about any future obstacles in the team’s ultimate goal of bringing home a first-place trophy at nationals, Kraft remarked on No. 3 nationally ranked Middlebury.
“I want to play Middlebury,” said Kraft. “They’re a team with a really great team culture and dress fun.”
Grench added, “We beat them in a tournament we played last block. They’re super fun to play against, a super great group of guys.”
The hype around Middlebury led to a discussion on team culture.
The energy was high on Saturday as, even in the stands, everyone could feel the strong enthusiasm generated by team chants, cheers, support for one another, and photo and video content posted on social media.
The talent, team culture, attitude and overall passion this team has makes their goal of being at the top of Division III for men’s ultimate frisbee a real possibility. Want to follow their journey? Utilize their social media handle @wasabiultimate to follow them closely on their pursuit to No. 1.