Braineaters Glide to Victory and Berth at Nationals

May is just around the corner, and for the
Claremont Braineaters, the men’s 5C Ultimate Frisbee team, this means it’s time to gear up for another
trip to the national Division III Championships. 

The Braineaters won the Southeastern Conference
Sectional Tournament April 11 and 12, giving them an automatic bid to the
National Tournament in May. After finishing in the top 5 at Nationals for the past
three years, the Brains are looking to make another statement in 2015.

The team is composed of an
eclectic mix of student-athletes and some of the best Frisbee talent in the division. Owen Bell PO ’16, who plays cutter and is known for forgetting to bring his jersey to important games, spoke to the team’s unique dynamic and the joys that Frisbee brings. 

“We have
a good team,” he said. “Frisbee
satisfies me spiritually because I like looking into the sky when catching a
disk, as opposed to at the ground like in golf.”

For most of
the season, the Braineaters play exhibition games against DI teams, as
most national Frisbee teams are from DI colleges. This has allowed the Brains to
gain some valuable experience against tough competition as they prepare
for the competitive season. This year, the Brains went 9-8 against DI
teams, an impressive record against some of the toughest competition in the
nation. They faced off against teams such as No. 18 Arizona State University and the California Institute of Technology. 

After the
exhibition season, the Braineaters play against their local DIII
competition at Sectionals. This year, the Brains hosted the tournament on
Pomona College’s campus and did not disappoint the local crowd. The Braineaters started
off the first day with dominant wins against the California Institute of Technology
and Westmont College with scores of 13-6 and 13-2, respectively.

Their final
game of the day, which determined the seeding for the finals the next day, came
against Occidental College. Claremont’s defense slipped a
bit and offense had trouble connecting on the field in the start of the game, letting Occidental
creep towards their lead. However, the Braineaters were able to fend off the
Tigers for the rest of the game and snuck by them for the 13-12 win.

On Sunday,
during bracket play, the Braineaters started off by crushing
Caltech 15-3 to advance to the finals, where they once again faced off against
Occidental. This time it was Oxy who jumped out to the quick lead. Down 6-8 at
halftime, the Brains needed to pick their game up in order to advance. After
some inspirational speeches, the Braineaters came out flying in the second
half, scoring eight straight points to win the game 15-9.

“Half
of our team bought plane tickets to nationals well before the game,”
Stephan Kim PO ’16 said. “At half-time, we remembered that our flights
weren’t refundable, so we used that as motivation.”

Because of the tournament’s importance, much of the team came out to play, making Sectionals a great experience for the team to bond and play
together as a unit.

“Sectionals
was really one of the first times that a majority of our roster got to play,” Kim said. “Some people who have minor roles on our team, like Will Marks [PO ’16], also got to see
the action on the first day.”

With the win, the team is
now preparing for the national DIII championships May 16-17 in Rockford, Illinois. The Brains are confident that their abilities and cohesiveness as a team will propel them to play successfully at
nationals and in any future ventures. 

“The
Brains get buckets,” Bell said. “If you play air sports, you can go
places.” 

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