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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Florida Ultimate failed to defend its Ultimate Frisbee national championship, suffering two losses Friday and Saturday at the 2011 USA Ultimate nationals tournament in Boulder, Colo.

In pool play, the team lost to the University of Wisconsin 12-10 and Luther College 14-13 before knocking off the University of California, Santa Cruz 15-11.

A 15-12 loss to the University of Washington eliminated Florida Ultimate from the championship competition, sending them to the consolation rounds.

In their consolation matches, Florida Ultimate lost to the University of Virginia 15-7 and the University of Illinois 12-11, finishing the weekend with a 1-5 record.

Alton Gaines, a management graduate student at UF and team captain, said the team used the two following consolation matches to give the younger players more experience and playing time.

In the championship final Monday, Carleton College knocked off the University of Wisconsin 11-5.

Last year, Florida Ultimate defeated Carleton's team 15-12 to win the championship.

Brodie Smith, the team captain at the time, was the runner-up for the Callahan Award, which is awarded to the most valuable player each year.

Gaines said that repeating a championship is difficult in any sport, including ultimate. He attributed the losses to a lack of energy and life in the play.

"We just came out flat," he said. "Against the level of competition we played, you can't do that and expect to win."

Gaines said members of the team, including fellow captains Cole Sullivan and Alex Hill, had been in Boulder a week before the tournament to get used to the altitude change and practice.

Sullivan said the team couldn't handle the altitude change. Florida Ultimate had won five of six tournaments going into the championship. Sullivan said the team was expecting another championship and felt disappointed about the outcome.

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"Great year but horrible finish," he said.

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