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The Scarlet & Black

Ultimate frisbee throws Elephantitis XII

The Grinnell frisbee teams successfully hosted Elephantitis XII. Photo by Chris Lee.

The men’s and women’s ultimate frisbee teams hosted the Elephantitis XII at MacEachron Field last weekend on Sept. 13 and 14. A total of 32 teams from Iowa and the Midwest participated in the event. Grinnell fielded two men’s, two women’s and one alumni team.

Captains Benyamin Elias ’15 and Kirsten Nelson ’15 were responsible for organizing the event. Duties included contacting the participating teams, creating the tournament bracket, contacting the apparel company and organizing catering from Hy-Vee.

The College did not provide funding for the tournament, forcing Nelson and Elias to collect money from participants.

“We fund the tournament through the accumulation of ‘bid fees’ or buy-ins from the other schools which are coming,” Nelson wrote in an email to The S&B. “This event is completely student-run and student-directed, which can be intimidating, but ultimately it’s satisfying to be able to be so self-sufficient.”

Any extra cost came out of the teams’ bank accounts.

The Grinnell frisbee teams successfully hosted Elephantitis XII. Photo by Chris Lee.
The Grinnell frisbee teams successfully hosted Elephantitis XII. Photo by Chris Lee.

Nelson emphasized that in organizing a tournament like Elephantitis, it is important to maintain good relations with businesses in the town.

“If we act disrespectful or unprofessional, this tournament could very well not happen in future years,” Nelson wrote.

According to Elias, the most difficult part about hosting the event was the multitasking involved.

“One of the hardest parts about hosting an event is having to play and captain [the] team while simultaneously trying to run a tournament,” Elias said.

Neither the men’s nor women’s teams won very many games over the weekend, but Elias and Nelson thought that regardless of their records, both teams learned from exposure to such competition.

“Elephantitis is about getting new players on the field, not winning,” Nelson wrote.

The men’s team, in addition to beating Drake 12-11 on Sunday, lost two close matches versus Division I teams, University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State with a score of 12-11 and 13-10, respectively.

The opportunity to play Division I teams allowed Grinnell players to learn from their opponents.

“You get a sense of how much faster the game could be,” Elias said. “You have to play smarter, harder defense.” 

Both the men and women lost talented seniors from graduation and are relying on younger players to step up and fill their shoes. According to Elias, five seniors on the men’s side departed and while it will be “tough to replace them,” he has faith in his underclassmen members, such as Andrew Mack ’18, to smoothly fill in the roles.

“He demonstrated some disc skills that a lot of other first-years are not going to have yet,” Elias said.

Elias also added that second-years, like Jack Graen ’17 and Peter Walker ’17, have also stepped up to the occasion and displayed advanced skills.

Nelson also said that all the first-years on her team showed great improvement, and was grateful for the experience they had last weekend.

“Ultimate is a family, and this weekend we had the privilege of [welcoming] all our new players into that family,” Nelson wrote.

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