By Sydney Sibelius '18
Maya Ellis ‘18 has been an integral part of the Claremont Greenshirts Ultimate Frisbee team since her arrival on campus this year. After a brief stint playing Ultimate in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado, she decided to pursue the sport further in college. The team is comprised of students from all five of the Claremont Colleges, with weekly practices and scrimmages. The Greens play many other local schools as well as travel out of state for various tournaments. They recently traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to play schools around the area.
How did you get involved with Ultimate Frisbee?
I got involved with Ultimate Frisbee because I played for a semester in high school with a bunch of my friends, and I thought maybe I’d try it here. At the club fair I saw them, and one of them threw a disc at me and I threw it back, and they were like “you should join ultimate!” I went to the first practice, and I’ve kept going.
What was your experience with Ultimate in high school?
Honestly, it was just that a bunch of my friends played. I had decided not to run track for my senior year, and they said that I should go to Ultimate practice. It was super informal, but that’s how it started.
What is the team like at the 5Cs?
The team here is really awesome; there are a lot of really good players. The awesome people are definitely my favorite part. We always have a lot of fun together. Everybody works really hard, but they are still really awesome and really nice and just fun to be around.
Do you have a favorite aspect of the sport?
The people who play ultimate are just really nice, cool people. It’s a really great community and there is a lot of spirit around the game and around playing. Everybody is really happy to be there.
What is something that most people would not know about Ultimate Frisbee?
A random fact about Ultimate is that there are no referees, so you call all your own fouls. If something happens, like somebody fouls you, you can say that you think that was a foul, and they can contest that or not contest it. It changes how you proceed. But that is a kind of cool thing; it adds to the spirit of the game with being honest and friendly, and calling the calls.
You and the team went to Boston recently to play some games. How did they go?
They were really fun. It was really fun because it was snowing, so that was a different experience for us SoCal kids. We played Tufts B, and we beat them. That was really fun, not the beating them part, but the playing in the snow. It was really cool, and they were really fun to play against. We also played Amherst High School, and they are the best high school in the nation, so we were a little tentative about that game. They were actually really good, and that was a closer game than Tufts. We also beat them, and that was a fun game. It was fun to play against high schoolers. But I think the best part was just being in Boston and being in the snow and being in a new place.
What other teams do you play around Claremont?
Our main competition to get to Nationals is Occidental, but we also play UCLA, SDSU, UCSD, and all of the other acronyms. We went to a tournament in Vegas and in Northern California. We’ve played Carleton, and we’ve played the Canada U23 National Team. They were incredibly good. We scored two points against them, so that was our victory. That was a really fun game, and they were incredibly talented players.
Do you have a favorite memory from being on the team this past year?
It was really fun playing in the snow this weekend. I think everyone was just invigorated by the weather, and it was very different from here.