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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Male hippos take ultimate victory

The Hungry Hungry Hippos, the GW men’s ultimate Frisbee team, went undefeated to win its sectional tournament at Salisbury State University last weekend. With the win, the Hippos received a second-seed berth to the regional tournament in Princeton N.J. A top-three finish at regionals would give the Hippos an invitation to the national championship tournament in Spokane, Wash.

“All we need is three wins to get to nationals. That would be the biggest highlight of all of our careers,” team President Ed Van Leer said.

The GW women’s ultimate Frisbee team placed third at sectionals and also grabbed a spot for this weekend’s regional tournament.

Salisbury and Delaware finished first and second, respectively. The GW women lost to Delaware 13-6 and Salisbury 13-2 but beat every other team they faced, taking American 13-5, Maryland 13-7, Towson 13-8 and Johns Hopkins 14-4.

The male Hippos, whose previous highest sectional finish was fourth, went 7-0, capping the weekend with a 15-11 victory over Maryland in the championship game. Freshmen Ben Spears and Adam Croce stood out, making clutch end-zone catches in the final minutes, Van Leer said.

“Both (Spears and Croce) picked up the game fast and have proved themselves as two of our biggest rising starts on the team,” he said.

Van Leer added that Spears’s play was especially impressive considering this was his first tournament after recovering from a twice-broken wrist.

The Hippos also beat the University of Delaware twice, Johns Hopkins, Western Maryland and Towson University.

GW’s five-year-old team was started by graduate David Watermulder and senior Tom Shields, two students who played it in high school. During the regular season, the team plays in the Colonial section of the Metro region and has traveled as far south as Birmingham, Ala., and as far North as Amherst, Mass. Twenty of the team’s games this season came against top-30 opponents. After this weekend, the Hippos jumped to 30th in the Ultimate Players Association ranking.

“This is the pinnacle of a lot of our careers,” Van Leer said of the win. “Winning sectionals proves to us and all the teams around the region how good we really are.”

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