Ultimate perfect but without title

Last weekend the men’s ultimate team traveled to Montreal hoping to become national champions for the second consecutive year. The men entered the tournament ranked number one in the nation, with a perfect 7-0 record on the season.

However, due to the weather conditions at this year’s Canadian University Ultimate Championship, the team finished their season undefeated but without the title.

After round robin play on Friday was cancelled due to rain, the men took to the fields on Saturday to play a condensed version of the preliminary round. Tournament officials ranked each competing team, and placed the top eight teams in two pools of four. These two “power pools” were created to ensure that teams considered to be contenders for the national championship had the opportunity to play a competitive round robin before the final playoff rounds on Sunday.

Queen’s easily dispatched McMaster 13-2 in their first match on Saturday morning. The men then edged U of T 13-9 and beat Carleton in a convincing 13-5 decision.

In their last game of round robin play on Saturday, Queen’s took on UBC in what appeared to be a preview of the national final. Queen’s came into the tournament ranked number one, and UBC was right behind them in second.

Facing wet and windy conditions, the men’s team battled their western rivals in what proved to be the final match of a remarkable season. Queen’s narrowly slipped past their formidable foes with an 8-7 victory, improving their undefeated record to 11-0.

“It was an intense game,” said team veteran Jamie Miller. “[UBC] had traveled so far, they definitely did not want to lose to us.”

The women’s ultimate team also traveled to Montreal for the national championships, and proved to be just as successful as the men’s team.

On Saturday the team began the tournament with a commanding 13-0 defeat over Lakehead. The women then mirrored that performance against McGill’s B team with a 13-0 shutout. The division sweep was continued later that day as the women dismissed Western 10-6.

Team captain Katie Geale said that she couldn’t be happier with the team’s performance at the nationals.

“We played amazing,” she said. “We worked so well as a team.”

After finishing first in their pool, the women then crossed over to play against a team from another division. The team appeared to be in tough against the University of Alberta, who had won the national championships for four consecutive years.

However, the women’s team was not fazed by their intimidating opponent. The team continued their outstanding performance by beating Alberta in a significant 8-1 decision.

“We were so excited after we beat Alberta,” Geale said. “After beating them we thought we had a real chance of winning on Sunday.”

After a successful series of games on Saturday, the playoff round was set to begin on Sunday morning. However, the tournament was officially cancelled due to unplayable field conditions. Friday’s rainy weather had soaked the fields, and Saturday’s intense competition had torn them apart.

The men’s team captain Ryan Lee said his team was disheartened by—but understanding of—the decision to call off the rest of the tournament.

“Of course, it was disappointing,” he said. “The Canadian nationals are the culmination of our season.”

Geale echoed Lee’s thoughts.

“No we’ll never really know how well we could have done,” she said.

The Canadian Ultimate Players Association has issued a statement on their website apologizing for the cancellation of Sunday’s playoff round. The statement explains that the association will be looking into tournament fee reimbursements for the 25 teams that came from across Canada to compete in the

men’s national championships

in Montreal.

With the cancellation of Sunday’s playoff round, no clear national champion has been declared for the season—the Canadian Ultimate Players Association has officially confirmed that this year’s title has been cancelled.

“No champion was announced, and the official results will remain as such for this year,” said University Championship Director Dee Roderique.

Although disappointed by the official outcome of the National Championships, Lee said the men’s ultimate team should be proud of their accomplishments this season.

“Even though the tourney was called, we still went undefeated all season,” he said. “We practiced hard and played hard—we have a lot be proud about. I’m looking forward to the spring.”

Following the cancellation of the last game, the Championship participants were devastated by news of the tragic death of Carleton University student and ultimate frisbee player Chris Powell. The 21-year-old was in Montreal competing with the Carleton ultimate team when he died on Saturday morning.

According to the CUPA’s official website, the cause of Powell’s death is currently unknown.

Both Miller and Lee expressed their sadness and sympathies for the Carleton team and Powell’s friends and family.

“The news is devastating,” said Miller. “This is a terrible tragedy in a very close frisbee community—our thoughts are with Carleton right now.”

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