During May of 2020, many college graduates faced disappointment. COVID-19 robbed them of their final semesters, in-person graduations and other graduation festivities. Former alum Kim Dorr missed out on these activities as well as the opportunity to play her favorite sport with some of her dearest friends: the women’s ultimate frisbee team.
Last fall, Dorr and four other alumni were allowed the opportunity to train for nationals for the women’s ultimate frisbee team — continuing their journey. They placed 2nd in the nation on Dec. 20 in California.
“It was pretty surreal.” Dorr said.
Returning to her former team, Dorr was able to reconnect with old friends and offer advice to younger players.
“It felt like I had this opportunity to help mentor these younger players,” Dorr said. “A lot of them I’d gotten to play with before, so it just felt like picking up right where we left off and deepening our friendships.”
The Women’s ultimate frisbee team usually takes the fall semester to recruit new players, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions during the previous year, the team focused on training for nationals. This year, 15 players competed at nationals.
Their victory took careful planning, regular training and teamwork.
“We had a very serious team talk about how we’re a competitive team, how we are going to manage playing time and calling lines and how important it is to be positive and encouraging to each other.” senior Jaclyn Wataoka said.
Leading up to nationals, the team practiced three times during the week as well as additional weekend practices. The team also made sure to train rigorously outside of practices by focusing on strength training and speed.
“Even after practices we would stay behind and do sprints,” Wataoka said.
The team aims for the practices to be fun and energetic. They are often at night during the school week, which can be made unpleasant by cold Portland winters, but the players keep the atmosphere upbeat.
“We’ve got boom-boom, which is our big speaker and everyone’s having so much fun.” Dorr said.
This fun, electric atmosphere helped to influence the tight bonds the players have with one another.
“I’m not kidding when I say they’re 14 of my best friends,” junior Julianna Galian says. “We are friends first and then teammates.”
For the spring 2022 semester, the team will return to training twice a week and will focus on training for the national competition in May. The team is always looking for new players to join them. Those who are interested can reach out through Engage.
Isabel Cornejo is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.