Ultimate Frisbee Teams Take Flight


Jonathan Karpatkin

Flying horsecows captain Peter LaFreniere makes a leaping catch during the team’s practice.

Julie Schreiber, Sports Editor

The women’s ultimate Frisbee team kicked off its season in Niagara Falls, Canada last weekend, readying for its nationals campaign. The Preying Manti, one of Oberlin’s most popular club teams, have been training since the semester’s start and finally had the opportunity to put their skills to the test at the recent tournament.

“We played really well together as a team and everyone improved so much over the course of the weekend,” said first-year Lucy Brown.

The Manti will look to build off of their highly successful season last year, when the squad excelled in regional play to earn a spot in the national Ultimate championship tournament. In recognition of the team’s exceptional play, six Manti were named to Ohio Valley Division-III All-Region teams last spring, including College senior Maya Gillett.

“The tournament went really well,” Gillett said. “So many people really stepped up, and it was a really exciting and impressive weekend for all of us.”

The Preying Manti are currently gearing up for their annual autumn tournament, FORCE FREEDOM, taking place Oct. 30–31 at the Oberlin Sports Complex. The Halloween-themed event encourages participants to sport their best costumes for a prize. The team usually splits into an A- and B-team squads later in the season, but will compete collectively in its competitions this fall.

Both the Preying Manti and the Flying Horsecows, the Manti’s men’s and trans counterpart, are playing in the inaugural home-field competition in a few weeks. The Horsecows have also already dirtied their cleats this season, playing in two tournaments at Kenyon College and Case Western Reserve University in anticipation of FORCE FREEDOM. Although the team is in its off-season, the preparation is crucial for its more competitive spring season.

“We’ve seen a lot of success at these tournaments, which certainly isn’t a bad sign for the spring,” said College senior Peter LaFreniere, who serves as team captain alongside Toby Harvey.

The Horsecows graduated a strong senior class last season, including Ohio Valley Division-III All-Region selects Conrad Schlör and Jason Freedman, but will look to fill its shoes with a veteran squad this year.

Although competition is undoubtedly a huge part of Ultimate, members of both the Horsecows and the Manti emphasized that having fun is just as important.

“I love the sport of Frisbee, but the best part of Ultimate is the people it brings,” Gillett said. “It consistently surrounds me with some of the best people I’ve ever met.”

LaFreniere echoed Gillett’s sentiments.

“You’re working for your teammates on the field at practice and off,” he said. “That’s what makes the team, and club sports in general, so special.”