Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 16, 2017)—USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and proud member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, announced today the initial 20 athletes selected to the U.S. National Team for the 2017 World Games.
Following last weekend’s tryout in Dallas, head coach Alexander Ghesquiere (Washington, D.C.) and assistant coach Matty Tsang (Oakland, Calif.) nominated 10 men and 10 women from a deep, 64-person pool of the nation’s best ultimate players.
A second and final round of cuts will pare the roster down to the final 14 athletes that will make the trip to Wroclaw, Poland in July.
Six athletes return from the 2013 squad that won the gold medal in Cali, Colombia: Georgia Bosscher (Madison, Wis.), Sarah Griffith (Seattle, Wash.), Ashlin Joye (Albany, Calif.), Beau Kittredge (San Francisco, Calif.), Octavia Payne (Washington, D.C.) and George Stubbs (San Rafael, Calif.).
Sandy Jorgensen (Washington, D.C.) and Anna Nazarov (San Francisco, Calif.), who made the preliminary 20-person roster four years ago but missed the final cut, are back in the mix again this year.
The other 12 athletes include Claire Chastain (Denver, Colo.), Claire Desmond (San Francisco, Calif.), Carolyn Finney (Goleta, Calif.), Dylan Freechild (Portland, Ore.), Kurt Gibson (Chicago, Ill.), Kami Groom (Boston, Mass.), Liên Hoffman (Somerville, Mass.), Chris Kocher (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Grant Lindsley (Oakland, Calif.), Jimmy Mickle (Golden, Colo.), Joel Schlachet (Berkeley, Calif.) and Nick Stuart (Minneapolis, Minn.).
Ghesquiere and Tsang previously coached the U.S. National Team to a gold medal at the most recent World Games.
“The tryout process confirmed that the players we can choose from to represent USA Ultimate’s National Team are outstanding,” commented Ghesquiere following the final day of tryouts. “We saw great play, but more importantly we saw great attitude and teamwork in the face of difficult challenges.”
For the dozens of athletes who did not make the team, some will represent the United States at the upcoming World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) World Championships of Beach Ultimate in June, while others will turn their focus to the Triple Crown Tour.
“The coaching staff wants to particularly acknowledge the players who played fantastically, but for whom there wasn’t room on the roster,” continued Ghesquiere. “The margins for these decisions were miniscule and there are many players who deserved and earned the recognition who didn’t make the cut. The athletes who did make the team are very deserving and will represent our country and the ultimate community brilliantly at the World Games. I’m very proud and grateful to be coaching players such as these.”
Occurring every four years, the World Games is an international multisport event organized by the International World Games Association (IWGA) and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The World Games is considered the pinnacle for non-Olympic, amateur sports like ultimate.
The 2017 World Games takes place from July 20 through July 30. Ultimate will be contested over a three-day period, July 21-23, with the United States competing against five other countries – Australia, Canada, Colombia, Japan and Poland.
In 2013, the IWGA recognized the U.S. National Team as its “Team of the Year” after recording a perfect 6-0 record in Cali, Colombia.
The U.S. National Team formally begins its preparation for Wroclaw with a series of practices, tournaments and exhibitions, starting with its first practice in Colorado Springs, April 15-16.
Next, the team will head to Colombia for the Torneo Eterna Primavera, April 29-30, before final cuts are made.
Another practice weekend and exhibition will take place in Cincinnati in conjunction with USA Ultimate’s College Championships over Memorial Day weekend.
The team will then participate in a final practice weekend, July 1-3 in Seattle.
2017 World Games
U.S. National Team (Initial 20-Person Roster)
Georgia Bosscher (Madison, Wis.)
Claire Chastain (Denver, Colo.)
Claire Desmond (San Francisco, Calif.)
Carolyn Finney (Goleta, Calif.)
Dylan Freechild (Portland, Ore.)
Kurt Gibson (Chicago, Ill.)
Sarah Griffith (Seattle, Wash.)
Kami Groom (Boston, Mass.)
Liên Hoffman (Somerville, Mass.)
Sandy Jorgensen (Washington, D.C)
Ashlin Joye (Albany, Calif.)
Beau Kitteridge (San Francisco, Calif.)
Chris Kocher (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Grant Lindsley (Oakland, Calif.)
Jimmy Mickle (Golden, Colo.)
Anna Nazarov (San Francisco, Calif.)
Octavia Payne (Washington, D.C.)
Joel Schlachet (Berkeley, Calif.)
Nick Stuart (Minneapolis, Minn.)
George Stubbs (San Rafael, Calif.)