The Claremont Braineaters are the 5C Men's Ultimate Frisbee team of the
Claremont Colleges, located in sunny Claremont, CA. The Braineaters are coming off their best season to date. We finished the season with a 24-1 record, coming in 1st place at President's Day Qualifier, 2nd place at Trouble in Vegas, 1st at conference championships, and of course 1st place at Division III nationals. Unfortunately though, we graduated 9 (very talented) players including 2 captains and our Callahan award nominee. Needless to say, we will need to rebuild in our 2011-2012 season. However, things will be made easier by our largest, and possibly most talented (sorry, class of 2011) rookie class. Given this strong rookie class, our goal this year is to repeat our national championship victory.
Current Spring Summary:
The spring season started with some big changes. We lost Jake and Abe to the horrors of study abroad, but regained Devin and Geller, leaving us with a different but equally talented team. The second main change was the reemergence of the Braineaters B Team, due to the huge amount of people playing. Strong leadership from rookie Sam Schumer and veteran Jello helped make the B Team work.
The A team started the season with the Pres Day qualifier. We had an easy day one, beating USC, Occidental, and Cal B without too much trouble. On Sunday, we stayed in control in a close game over Las Positas, winning 13-10. We played Sonoma State in the semifinals. They had a strong team and put a lot of pressure on our dumps, and beat us at hard cap 10-8. They ended up winning the finals and qualifying for the Classic, but this meant that we unfortunately did not qualify, which of course was a bit of a disappointment. It was still a good experience, and showed us a lot of what we need to work on.
We chose not to go to the Stanford Open, since it was the week before Vegas and quite expensive. Then it was Trouble in Vegas time, despite last year's promise that it was the last TiV. We played a great opening day, rolling everyone in our pool while freshman of the year Alex Gruver scored somewhere on the order of 9001 points, mostly off endzone. More important was the food, bought by Geller, Master of the Snacks. Highlights include chocolate-covered acai berries, granola bars, and wheat thins. Due to the extreme excitement about these delectable treats, we became the Snackeaters for the day, working snacks into all our cheers and earning snack breaks when the other teams took timeouts. We came out strong on Sunday, finishing off our pool and then going into "attack mode" to come back from two breaks down to win a close game against Cal Poly Pomona with approximately 1000 layout Ds. Then came the real challenge, a game against highly-ranked DI school UCF. Despite some tremendous heart from Alex Gruver and an insane amount of travel calls on China Sam, UCF proved too strong and beat us 10-7. We had a final game against North Texas, but we were tired and partially suffering from heat exhaustion, and they won on Universe. All in all, Vegas was a ton of fun and we played really well.
Next up was Conference Championships. Since Purdy is president and pharaoh over everything ultimate, we hosted again. There were four other teams there: Occidental, Cal Tech, Westmont, and Chapman. We won strong games against Oxy, Cal Tech, and Chapman on Saturday, although Cal Tech gave us a scare with some hucks early in the game. We started off Sunday with a big win over Westmont, who had beaten Occidental in a super close game on Saturday. That put us in the semifinals, playing against Cal Tech. They came out really big and we started the game badly, and were trailing 5-3 when Joel Fagliano had one of the hugest up-line layout Ds ever known to mankind. We took half 7-6 and never looked back, winning the game 13-7 and earning Joel the Pontiac Game-Changing Moment Award. Meanwhile, Occidental slugged through a monster game against Chapman, winning 15-13 to make it to the finals. They were pretty tired and we played amazingly well, crushing them 13-3 to make it to Nationals. We'll be in Appleton, Wisconsin May 19th and 20th, hoping to repeat!
Current Fall Summary:
We had 35 players sign up for the scrimmage, so we decided to split up into X and Y squads, roughly correlated with O and D-lines respectively. Even with only half the team, Claremont Y beat APU 13-9 and USC 13-2, and Claremont X beat USC 13-6 and APU 13-12. Then we combined teams for a showcase game against Occidental. We took half 8-4, and won 15-8. It was a great scrimmage all around, with rookies Nathan Hall, Greg Locsin, Alex Gruver and Chris Brown stepping up big for the team. Now we have three weeks to prepare for significantly harder competition in Sean Ryan. With teams like UC Santa Cruz, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, we don't expect to win every game, but with today's play, we should surprise some teams. As always, stay tuned!
For Sean Ryan, we all arrived at the Santa Cruz hotels pretty late Friday night, and had our Saturday morning game at 8 am against UCSB Black Tide. It was a bit cold, a bit windy, and we struggled to play our best coming out, so we ended up losing pretty badly 6-13. We then played UC Santa Cruz, who despite good coaching (oh hai Joaq) didn't have the athleticism to beat us, and we won 13-10. Our last game was a tough battle against Chico State, and we lost 10-13 despite some early breaks. After point differentials, we failed to advance from our pool, and ended up in the losers' bracket. We won a couple nice games on Sunday against Las Positas and UC San Diego, and finally played against a weird team consisting of Santa Clara and some UCSC alums including Cassidy Rasmussen (Revolver). We didn't really take the game seriously and they were really good, so we lost 4-13.
The next weekend was SoCal warmup. We came out strong on Saturday, with convincing wins over UCSD J and UCSB Y. Rookie Nathan Hall almost got into a fight with a Black Tide player, who knocked him down on the way back to the stack after getting skied in the endzone. A mid-point chest bump with Rook may have contributed. Tommy also had a butt-rating contest when the entire Santa Barbara team (except one nice guy) refused to even face us during a timeout, going so far as to give one player a friendly squeeze. Our last game was against Arizona under the lights. They were much friendlier, accepting our offer of THE BOX because they're not UCSB. They played the same vert stack with lots of dump swings they did last year, but we were clicking and some sweet hucks from Tommy put us up 8-4 at half. They switched to a poachy/tiger trap defense they call shark, and got a few breaks before Tommy got sick of things and threw a 50-yard hammer huck to Rook for a touchdown. He then ended the game with some beautiful swings up the field before throwing another hammer huck to the now-infamous Nathan Hall for the 13-11 win. The next day, we won a game against UCSB X and played great against San Diego State to make it to the finals. There, we played Cal Poly SLO, who had a ridiculous 6'5" guy and dominated us in the wind. All in all, they were the best team we had played all season but we were pretty pumped with the second place finish.
10/17/11: After long summer off from Brains ultimate, our season started off with a burst of energy and excitement. Luckily, we had fields reserved within 2 weeks of arriving on campus and a host of rookies already heading out to practice. Over the next two weeks, we had an enormous surge of rookies, to the point where we had 35-40 people per practice. As the semester has progressed, some people have dropped out, but we are still getting big numbers at practice. As mentioned above, we have a lot of talent and a lot of enthusiasm, and we expect big things for the next two years (even with the loss of a big, talented senior class last year).
Our Fall season has started with a focus on the fundamentals, but we are about to enter a one-month stretch of competitive play including: a scrimmage at Claremont against Occidental, USC and Azusa Pacific University on 10/22, Sean Ryan Memorial tournament in Santa Cruz on November 12 and 13 and SoCal Warmup in San Diego on November 19 and 20. Stay tuned for results!
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