She hearts both push passes and prime numbers, which is exactly what makes her one of the most fun and intelligent Ultimate players you’ll play with. She’s also incredibly good at the sport.
1. What was your first Summer League team? Did you love it or loathe it?
Loved it! We were called Skid Mark and won the triple crown (1996). My first year ever playing Ultimate. Came in ranked as a 2. Had just started playing the February before, and man did I suck. Could not throw and marginally had field sense. But I was decently athletic and learning a ton from my teammates Jackie Bourgeois, Lori Parham, Rob Barrett, amongst others. People bitched at the draft (yes, that was also very much common in the 90s) about my low ranking. But I hold that it was legit due to my newness to the sport. I think Rob threw me the winning score in the finals of EOST. There’s nowhere to go but down if your team wins everything the first year you play summer league.
2. You’re only allowed to make one type of throw for the rest of your life; what is it?
Push pass. The most versatile throw in the history of throws.
3. What’s the most glorious play you ever made? Exaggeration is encouraged.
I feel like a lot of my “glorious” plays were made in games my team either ended up losing or in some random game at some random tournament. Doesn’t really make for a very exciting storyline. One of my best layout catches was a couple years ago at Poultry Days with Downtown Brown. Made an in cut, and somehow (shocker) there was a dude in the way. The thrower somehow didn’t see this guy, and he also seemed a bit confused. Throw went up, he grew a little awareness, turned over his shoulder to go for it as I was coming in. As he crouched/fell/layed out, I layed out over him to make the catch – and managed to make very little contact coming down.
Probably my most glorious ultimate moment (with more exciting storyline): winning semis of 2002 Worlds in Hawaii over Schwa. They led at half by several. The confidence machine sparked by Holly Sommers, Lisa Kotora, Katharine Kidd Shippey, Eileen Murray, etc, proved to be the beginning of the end for Tracey Satterfield’s implosion-prone team. We had come from behind to beat them before, and we knew we could do it again in this important moment. I collected a couple big blocks in the second half (one as I poached into the lane on a low-hanging huck, one where I dove to stop an IO flick; both near the endzone and I’m sure resulting in scores for us). But it was 95% the mental “eff this, we’re going to win” attitude of our whole team that won us that game. I think that year Ozone sent Schwa tumbling over the edge, never to really recover again.
4. What’s the worst or most embarrassing play you ever made? Don’t spare the details.
Two truths and a lie:
1. Regionals, Austin, 2010. Ozone vs Showdown Finals. We were down by a few but trying to make a run. A layout grab by me here, a layout grab there by Maggie, a sky of Katey Forth here by me, a sweet huck there by Maggie… etc. Hale was on the sidelines screaming for me to keep doing more. Maggie lays out to catch a pass from me (thanks). A couple passes later, I get the disc back on our goal line and have an immediate short IO break option because Maggie is cutting there. Perfect opportunity for the quick push pass. But, I botch it! It tails away from her, incompletion, Showdown runs it back for the score to put one of the nails in the coffin. Damn! But, Hale and Kate did say that was the best they’d seen me or Maggie play in awhile. I’ll take it.
2. Nationals, Sarasota, 2010. Our poor tiny team, already pretty tired at the end of Day 1 after losses to Traffic and Brute Squad. We were facing the 4 seed in our pool, Pop, and they chose a fascinating defense – the 5 person cup. By fascinating, I mean stupid yet somehow still momentarily effective. I’m sitting there with the disc, thinking to myself, “Man it’s weird that there are so many people around me.” I contemplate the field. Lots of options beyond the cup. Stall 6. 7. 8. Uh oh. Flustered by my own thoughts, I see Kate in perfect position for a blade over the top. Slight miscalculation on my part leads to a really zippy blade, a little behind her, that she got her hand on but couldn’t keep. Turnover, Pop scores. Oops. Next time around vs the 5 person cup, I’m smarter and throw my around backhand. One pass later, we’re off to the races beyond their cup.
3. Boston Invite, 2011. Saturday in one of our pool play games (Bent or Hot Metal), Kate was on fire with the handblocks. She gets a sick one on the goal line. And I’m like, sweet let’s go ahead and mark me down for an assist! I run up to pick up the disc with Sophie making a short up line cut for me. Flick would be too boring – must go with the pusher. Oops – the slight wind makes it pop up a bit more than anticipated, and it sails right over Sophie as she valiantly tries to reach up and pull it in. We both giggle a little. When will I learn?! Kate’s glaring at us for squandering her sick handblock. But she’s super fired up and gets another one to give us the disc back.
5. Who is your favorite Ultimate player and why?
Rob Barrett. Dynamic. Strong. Fast. Prone to internalization but still able to be outwardly inspirational. Played in the Open divison and was still getting huge Ds until he was pretty damn old by industry standards. Funny. Smart. Loves primes. Married an awesome girl. What’s not to like? I chose #71 because it’s a prime and the reverse of Rob’s #17. I wonder what I would’ve said if the question had been, Who’d be in your starting 7 mixed (4/3) line?
6. If an Ultimate Frisbee heaven exists, what would you like to hear the “Ultimate Deity” say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Welcome! Here’s your Iberian Old Fashioned, the articular joint surfaces and liver you had at 21, and a gigantic hot tub full of your friends.
7. What makes the AFDC so darn swell?
Your mother! Clearly. But seriously, the AFDC is one of a kind. Fun, goofy, ridiculous, competitive, at times soap operatic… From beer/eating races to canned food drives to super secret ninja goalty to SC meetings to the biggest most competitive summer league in the nation – there’s an energy about AFDC peeps that is tough to explain but pretty easy to see.
Previously in this series: