Lady Sweets help win World Championships

Alden Glass

This past July, two members of the Lady Sweets ultimate Frisbee team represented the United States of America at the World Championships in London. This tournament showcased the best talent from around the world competing for the top prize in Frisbee. Whitman students and Lady Sweets, Arianne Lozano and Claire Revere, were members of the Under-23 Mixed National Team. While representing one’s country on the world stage is a massive accomplishment in and of itself, Revere and Lozano went a step further and helped the team win the whole tournament, earning them the title of world champions.

It was a long and tough road to that final in London beginning all the way back in November 2014. Lozano and Revere, along with four other Lady Sweets, applied to try out for the U-23 team.

“We flew out to California and did a week-long try out with the best U-23 players across the country,” Lozano said. “Only Claire [Revere] had made the mixed team at first, and I was chosen as an alternate. I was in this weird place of ‘I really want to be on this team and now how can I get on it.’”

After the coaches watched Lozano in a few more tournaments they offered her a spot on the team and a ticket to London. After doing individual workouts through the spring, the team gathered for a week long training camp leading up to the tournament in London. In an email interview, Revere described the team’s composition and who her new teammates were.

“The team was made up of college players and recent college grads. Seven members of our 27 player squad were returners, having played on the U.S. team at the last U-23 championships in 2013,” she said. “I knew seven players on the team from previous U.S. U-19 team experiences in 2012 and 2014 at the World Junior Ultimate Championships.”

The team impressed Lozano, and she described how delighted she was to be playing with players of such a high profile and level of talent.

“A lot of people on the team were people that you knew from playing college and club, because these are the best people in the nation. You knew who they are. You’ve seen videos of these guys, I’ve played against them and now I get to play with them,” added Lozano.

Even though they were surrounded by the best U-23 players in the world, Revere and Lozano were far from out of their depth according to their Sweets teammate, sophomore Jessica Kostelnik. She described Lozano and Revere’s contribution and importance to the Lady Sweets.

“Claire and Ari are respected by the Sweets” she said. “They are players that push everyone on the team to step up their individual game. That kind of leadership is something that doesn’t come with a role or a title. Although Ari is our captain, it only comes with owning the field you play on.”

Team USA came to the tournament as heavy favorites. Besides a close game against Team Japan, the US proved too athletic and talented for their opponents. However, Lozano saw a lot of positives for the growth of Frisbee internationally in the other team’s performances.

“The level of play for ultimate is growing internationally. It’s interesting to see how different countries have different playing styles” she said. “The best team we played against was Team Japan. We had our closest game against them.”

When the final game ended and the realization that they were world champions began to sink in, Revere was ecstatic with the entire experience.

Copy of CB Finals Day (12)WEB

“I was elated when we won the game. Everything seemed to happen really fast. It was an odd transition from trying to be really calm and intentional in executing our offense that last point, to have everyone screaming and rushing the field. It felt very surreal” she said. “After the initial excitement of winning, I quickly realized that even though we had accomplished what we had set out to do, and what we had all been working toward for months, I would have rewound time back to the start of training camp, just to relive the whole experience.”

Back in the United States the Sweets kept a close eye on their teammates’ progress. Kostelnik described following the tournament through the Twitter feed and what their victory meant to the team.

“We were so proud of both Claire and Ari as individual players for all of the hard work they put in; but we were also so excited for what it signified for our team” she said. “We’re pumping out some greats for a school that isn’t very large. That means we must be doing something right.”