Team USA player Tasha Arvanitis ’15 won a silver medal in the women’s division Aug. 18 at the 2012 World Junior Ultimate Championships in Dublin, Ireland.
Team USA went undefeated through the semifinals in the six-day competition, braving cold, wind and rain. For the finals, they faced Team Colombia—which they had defeated on Day 3 of the tournament—and after an intense two-and-a-half-hour game, lost by a score of 10-14.
“We came away with silver, and while it’s tough to have been so close to the gold, I’m immensely proud to have competed with such a diverse and talented team,” Arvanitis said. “We played our hearts out throughout the tournament and established friendships that will last a lifetime.”
The Harvey Mudd College student earned her spot on Team USA after a grueling weeklong tryout at a recruitment camp in Seattle.
“There were 40 girls at each camp, West Coast and East Coast, and we all ran timed sprints, measured our jump heights, and above all, played a ton of really intense Ultimate,” she said. “It was an amazing experience, and one I would have found immensely valuable even had I not made the team.”
A team Frisbee sport similar to football, Ultimate tasks participants with scoring points by passing the flying disc to a player in the opposing end zone. Players may not run with the disc, but only pivot while holding it.
Arvanitis took up the sport in high school, grabbing every opportunity to play with college teams and immersing herself in the Ultimate culture. She closed her freshman year at HMC with a Division III College Championship in Women’s Ultimate. Playing for The Claremont Greenshirts alongside 19 other students—including fellow Mudders Clara Amorosi ’14 and Nicole Yu ’14—she helped snag a 6-0 record in the tournament.
First held in 1983 in Gothenburg, Sweden, with just three teams and 60 participants, the World Junior Ultimate Championships now include more than a thousand participants serving as players, coaches and support staff. The 2012 event featured 1,400 participants from more than 20 different countries.