What: USA Ultimate College Championships
When: Friday through Monday
Where: Pleasant View Sports Complex (47th St., north Boulder)
Mamabird — the University of Colorado men’s Ultimate team — will look to feather their nest with another national title this weekend at the USA Ultimate College Championships, which happen to be here in Boulder.
The team won their last (and first) championship in 2004; they’re the No. 2 seed going into the tournament, which starts today.
“Last year, we underperformed at nationals,” said head coach Jim Schoettler. “We went in with similar hopes to this year to win it, and we had a tough pool.
“We expended all of our energy early in some really tight games.”
Schoettler also mentioned that their strategy going into the championships last year was perhaps a little bit complicated. But Mamabird has made some changes.
“This year we’ve simplified things, and it’s in our backyard, so we know what to expect,” Schoettler said. “Our pool will hopefully be not as tough as it was last year.”
Jack McShane, one of the team captains, echoed that sentiment but said: “Everyone in our pool is going to be tough.”
“We have Stanford and Oregon in our pool Friday, and we’ve played Oregon — they have a lot of talented throwers, talented receivers,” said McShane, a senior who just graduated.
Though school ended several weeks ago, the team has stayed in Boulder to prepare for nationals.
“It’s been nice, because outside of practice, we hang out a lot as a team, go to the movies, go bowling, stuff like that,” McShane said. “It’s a good month that we can bond as team.”
During that month, Mamabird has been out practicing, rain or shine. And lately, they’ve been practicing in the rain.
“It’s one of those mental challenges that you can’t do anything about, but you have to go out there and do it anyway,” McShane said. “It’s kind of good for us to go out there and have to battle that because it gets us ready for certain challenges we’ll have to face.”
If the Buffs finish first in their pool during their Friday and Saturday games (going in, they’re seeded No. 1 in Pool B), they’ll advance to quarterfinals on Sunday.
But to do that, Schoettler said: “We need to go in doing something we haven’t done yet this year — putting together a consistent tournament.”
Aside from regionals and sectionals, the team hasn’t won a tournament yet this year, he said.
Schoettler and McShane both said the nice thing about having the home-field advantage at the tournament is Mamabird’s fans.
“That’ll generate a lot of energy,” Schoettler said.