Spinning and winning: Claremont Greenshirts re-disc-over team connections

A female student stretches out her arms to catch a frisbee flying through the air.
Ellie Dekker PZ ’23 catches a frisbee during a Claremont Greenshirt’s practice in 2019. (HuxleyAnn Huefner • The Student Life)

Informally known as the Claremont Greens, the women’s ultimate frisbee club at the Claremont Colleges is more than just a sports team — it provides a safe space for students to build social relationships. 

Talia Glass PZ ’25 first discovered the sport from her sister, who had a great experience playing ultimate in college. Before finding comfortability with the sport, however, she “was terrified” of playing on the field. 

“I’d barely thrown a Frisbee, but everyone was so freaking nice,” Glass said. “It could not have been a better opportunity to go into [without] having any experience.” 

She discusses how imperative the Greenshirts community has been during her transition and adjustment to college life amidst a pandemic. 

“Especially with COVID, it’s been really hard to meet people from other schools and actually make real connections with them,” she said. “Classes just aren’t enough to do that. And it’s been really a silver lining for sure. Even though it’s just a couple times a week, I feel like I’ve really made some cool friends.” 

One of those unique friends Glass befriended was Liza Gull HM ’24, one of the team’s handful of captains. Growing up in the Bay Area, the sophomore leader played competitive ultimate for a long time, even competing against the Greens once prior to her time at Harvey Mudd. 

“Especially with COVID stuff, I’m very grateful for the Greenshirts to have a social and physical activity three plus times per week, to be with other people while releasing stress and energy in a very fun way,” she said. “I’ve met so many people through them and I’m able to see people that I know at other places in the 5Cs, which is really cool.”

With multiple student captains, the Greens organize exercises to build team bonds and foster a welcoming environment. This chemistry proved vital in their tournament at Santa Clara University held Feb. 19 to 20, where the Greens came into the tournament ranked seventh out of teams participating and left as the weekend’s runner-up. 

“Just a humble brag about my rookie class; we’ve got multiple lines of incredible players who have played a lot in high school and also our new players have just picked it up really quick,” Gull said. 

Looking ahead, Gull is excited for what’s to come for the Greens this season.

“Greens are historically better than I think we’ve ever been,” she said. “That’s largely in part to the immense amount of rookie talent we’ve brought.”

The women hope to continue their success with upcoming sectionals against Occidental on April 16, played on their home turf in Claremont.

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