Support Wasabi – Fall Fundraiser has begun

We are Wasabi: Colorado College’s gender-inclusive ultimate frisbee team competing in Men’s Division III. A known force in Division III ultimate, last year we brought home the national championship to Colorado College for the first time in program history. Winning was a monumental achievement – the pinnacle of our division. However, our accomplishments have not dulled our determination. This year, we’re intensifying our efforts to improve while maintaining the camaraderie that defines Wasabi. Our aspiration is to once again compete for the DIII title at nationals in May 2024. 

Our season has already begun with Choice City, our rookie development tournament in Fort Collins. Choice City was a success with vast improvement seen from everyone on the team. Having secured our freshman class, practices have begun to ramp up in preparation for our tournament kickoff in November: Missouri Loves Company.  With over six tournaments planned for the spring season, we recognize the importance of maintaining our efforts to consistently surpass expectations and act with intention.  

With strong freshmen and ever improving upperclassmen, Wasabi is continuing to stay spicy this year. Our disk loving team has an established record of work ethic and ‘spirit of the game’, values we will maintain this season. We are grinding at practices and events to bring out the best in everyone on the team, while strengthening the Wasabi family.  

In addition to dedicating countless hours to training on the field and in the gym to be at our best, our journey also entails significant expenses such as tournament fees, travel, and lodging. These financial commitments pose the greatest challenge for us throughout the season. We are dedicated, passionate, and love frisbee. But to compete at the highest level, we need your help. Your generosity in contributing to and spreading the word about this campaign is greatly appreciated. With your support, we will showcase Wasabi’s strength on the national stage once more. Thank you – stay spicy!!!  

Check out our linktree to follow us on our socials and check out our team store: https://linktr.ee/wasabiultima…  

Donations to Wasabi are tax deductible as it goes through CC, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. In donating, you will receive an email receipt which the IRS accepts as official documentation of the contribution.

Wasabi Coaching Staff Earns 1st Runner-up in Coach of the Year.

Rarely do you see a team win a national championship without having strong coaching leading the way. Colorado College was led by the team of Jimmy Donnellon, Ben Jelinek, and Spencer Hawkins on their path to glory. While the Wasabi coaches did a number of things well this year, perhaps their most impressive accomplishment was finding the best roles for all of the talent on their roster. It takes guts to hand the keys of your offense to a freshman, even one as talented as Oliver van Linder. It takes trust to get the buy-in from an all-around star like Lincoln Grench to ask him to focus almost solely on offense. Choosing to put the eventual Player of the Year on D-line, maximizing that group’s efficiency and creating the best D-line in the division, was a masterstroke. Colorado College were incredibly talented, but the coaching staff put the chess pieces in all of the right places to secure a championship. (Text from Ultiworld article)

Oliver van Linder Named D-III Men’s 2023 Rookie Of The Year

Every college coach dreams of having a handler they can trust in all the big moments. Someone they can center the disc to on every pull and know they’ll make the right decision, and have the skill to execute that choice. Now imagine having that in a freshman and getting to coach that player for (at least) three more years.

Nobody watching van Linder for the first time would ever guess he was a freshman this year. He’s everything you need in a modern handler. His quickness and ability to break the mark make him an absolute nightmare in handler and dominator sets, and he has a cannon for an arm to be able to punish defenses that poach or play under to take away the small ball stuff.

While van Linder was spectacular for Wasabi all season, he saved his best stuff for the biggest stage. In the semifinal and final against Richmond and Middlebury, respectively, he combined for 10 assists. Most importantly, van Linder only had four turnovers, and it wasn’t because he was shy or conservative with his decision-making. Take a look at this huck on just the second O-point of the final. Sure, it was a wide open receiver, but that’s a 70 yard huck perfectly in stride. How many freshmen are making that throw?

Colorado College are graduating a lot of talent this year, but their underclassmen are incredibly talented and ready to step up. Van Linder already had a big role for Wasabi this year, but the offense will be completely his next year. He should be more than capable of handling it. (Text from Ultiworld article)

Lincoln Grench is the First Runner-Up for D-III Men’s 2023 Offensive Player Of The Year

Offensive Player of the Year, recognizing the individual, and two runners-up, who we felt had the most impactful and productive seasons helping their teams score. They set up goals, finished off points, and produced yardage at consistently high levels against the top defenders.

Oliver Kraft Wins the 2023 Donovan Award

Oliver Kraft came to Colorado College as a transfer student in 2021 with an incredible work ethic and an infectious personality; we quickly found that he was much more than curly-haired and giggly. He was an absolute force on the flat-ball gridiron. No doubt owing to several standout high school seasons, the better part of two years of high-level D-I College development with Cal Poly SLOCORE, and a lifetime of rugged New England winters, Oliver brought the talent, the confidence, and the diligence to play with anybody on any level.

Hailing from the Paris of North America (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Ollie had an immediate impact on Wasabi, stealing both our hearts and our ankles in a matter of days. From his first practice with us in the fall of 2021, Ollie was easily the best defender on the field. Explosive and calculated, positionally-perfect and sneakily cunning, Ollie closed gaps on our very best players with seeming ease. Game-after-game, tourney-after-tourney, D-after-chest-high-D, Ollie would get up, pick up the disc, and proceed to run the calmest and cleanest handler set you could dream of.

But Ollie was never satisfied. As if a perennial flower, he continued to grow and grow, constantly evolving and pushing himself as a player. After only one year with us, Ollie’s leadership ability was crystal-clear and he was elected captain for the 2022-2023 season. This season, Ollie led the Wasabi D-Line to a tournament victory at Snow Melt, a Silver Medal at Midwest Throwdown, an undefeated tournament victory at Rocky Mountain Conferences (+37 point differential), and an undefeated tournament victory at South Central regionals—all in a lovely little powder-blue skirt. Oliver plays and leads with a humble and contagious stoicism unparalleled by anyone else on the team.

In all Wasabi contexts, Oliver holds himself and his peers to an extremely high standard of humility, fair-play, kindness, hard-work, and perseverance. While he is an excellent handler, superhuman puller, and lights-out defender, he is a better friend, leader, and role-model. We can see the future of Wasabi Ultimate in those enchanting blue-eyes and the way he holds himself in every scenario… My, Oh, My, would Oliver Kraft be a great father. Without a sliver of doubt, Oliver Kraft is most deserving of the 2023 Donovan Award. Speaking now for all of us on Wasabi, every one of his friends and his family members, and any other person lucky enough to know him: we could not be prouder of this young man!

The Donovan Award.

The Donovan Award will be awarded to one Women’s and one Men’s player in Division III who are selected by their peers. The ideal candidate for the award meets the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrates an exceptional level of skill and athleticism on the field.
  2. Upholds the principles of Spirit of the Game, equity, and fairness in their own actions, as well as holding teammates accountable to do the same.
  3. Is a leader off the field, both on their team and in the greater ultimate community.

The Donovan Award is named after the late Kelly Donovan, who captured the spirit, talent, and commitment to growing the sport that we are looking for in the ideal winners of this award. We are honored for the Donovan Award to help carry on Kelly’s legacy.

Kelly went to Drake University, and was critical in the development of their women’s program. She was well-known in the Midwest as a phenomenal player who emulated grit and loyalty with her play and her voice. “That girl from Prion” was intimidating – until you met her off the field. Kelly was exuberantly welcoming and always ready for a dance party. As a teammate and coach, she had high standards for work ethic and commitment. She took just as much pride in the players on the sideline as those on the field, and pushed her teammates to always be committed and improving. Kelly did everything at 100% and is deeply missed by those across the country who had the honor of being coached by her or stepping on the field with her as teammates or opponents.

Players of the D-III college division emulating the characteristics of talent, grit, loyalty, warmth, spirit, commitment and generosity would be well-deserving of The Donovan Award.

– Alyssa Kelly and Gwen Ambler*

2023 Donovan Finalists >>> Amazing class of finalists – Congratulations to all for a great season and accomplishments!

Wasabi Wins D3 Nationals

Colorado College’s Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team @wasabiultimate has won D-III Nationals for the first time in CC history! Wasabi was undefeated throughout the tournament and ultimately beat Middlebury College 15-11 to take home the national title.

“I have had the honor of captaining Wasabi for the last two years and winning this title to cap off my senior year is a testament not only to the work everyone on the team has put in, but also to the culture the team has cultivated,” says team captain Lincoln Grench ’23. “There was a moment after our semifinal victory against the University of Richmond where we all sat in a circle and talked about what the moment meant for us and what the team meant to us. Each person went around and expressed their love for the team and the main takeaway I got from that circle was that no matter the result, we were all just happy to have created these relationships with one another. Being able to create a team mindset and team goals where having a great team culture is as high a priority, if not higher, as winning is a difficult task but our team was up for it, and I believe that is a huge reason for why we were able to win the championship.”*

  • copy from @coloradocollege instagram.