Trinity women’s ultimate frisbee team kicks it up a notch

Players share a close bond, look forward to new recruits

Altitude, the women’s ultimate frisbee team, is already making its mark on Trinity’s campus, despite only being a few years old.

Four years ago, a couple of women came together and founded the club sport, one of the first of its kind.

“Prior to the creation of the team, women were technically allowed to play with the men. However, as far as I understand, there were very few women and they didn’t get to play as much, so the sport really didn’t generate a lot of interest to female students,” said Caitlin ‘Cat’ O’Shei, senior history major and Altitude’s co-captain. O’Shei was part of the team at its founding. Since her first year, the team has continued to grow and become more successful.

“When I became captain my sophomore year, my biggest goal was to establish a sustainable program for female players, and I think we have been fairly successful in that endeavor,” O’Shei said.

O’Shei was elected as captain at the end of her first year on the team and has been re-elected every year since. Because the team doesn’t have much outside coaching, O’Shei’s  duties extend to coaching. Her other duties include teaching new players, running practices and coaching at tournaments.

Caitlyn Turner, a sophomore, was voted as co-captain this year.

“I’m really excited to show her the ropes,” O’Shei said.

Along with the captains, the team is under the leadership of Sydney Kuhn and Maddy Walshak, the president and vice president, respectively.

Kuhn and Walshak take care of the logistical side of the team. O’Shei feels as if her team is family.

Sophomore Kendra Derrig, back, and sophomore Maddy Walshak, front, practice several times a week with the women’s ultimate team. Photo by Allison Wolff

 

“For me, and I think a lot of the other girls, the team gave me a sense of purpose and belonging that I needed when I first came to Trinity,” O’Shei said.

All of the women are positive, and the team is filled with deep respect for one another.

“Ultimate frisbee has developed into a culture, allowing all sorts of backgrounds and levels to come together for an extremely fun game,” said Francis Hurtado, a senior economics major. Players also use the sport as a way to de-stress from school.

“Playing a club sport, specifically frisbee, is an amazing way to get stress relief,”  said Katherine Donovan, a sophomore geosciences, Spanish and entrepreneurship triple major.

Abby Dennis, a sophomore biology major, feels the same way.

“I like being able to have two hours twice a week when I can drop everything — homework, stress, whatever else is going on — and just focus on doing something I love with some of my favorite people in the world,” Dennis said.

Playing the sport also helps students stay in shape without having to try to block out time to make trips to the gym.

O’Shei is incredibly passionate about ultimate frisbee and emphasizes all of the skill, teamwork, endurance and strategy that the sport requires.

“A lot of people who don’t play don’t really understand the commitment and athleticism that this sport requires,” O’Shei said. “You’re never going to get famous or rich from being an ultimate player, so when players leave their blood and swweat on the field, it’s because they love the sport and their team.”

“It’s a mental workout as well. … You get to learn the tactics behind every play, and you put in extra time to make sure you know every play,” Hurtado said.

Altitude’s competitive season doesn’t begin until the spring, but they are currently practicing and preparing to play in some off-season tournaments.

No previous experience is required, so the team is always looking for new players.

“Some girls who have never even touched a disc before their first practice become really great players by the end of the season,” O’Shei said.

If you are interested in playing, you should contact Caitlin O’Shei at coshei@trinity.edu Students can also just show up to a practice; the team practices on Tuesdays from 8–10 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:30–10:30 p.m. on the Jim Potter Intramural Field.