Author: Emily Phillips
During the fourth game of the Worst Tournament of Your Life at Cal State Long Beach Oct 18-19th, Men’s Ultimate defender Peter Whitley (sophomore) broke his arm in two places. He was jumping up to knock down a disc when two players from the opposing team also grabbed the disc, tangling all three of the men’s arms and resulting in a visible break in Whitley’s arm as it hung at a 45 degree angle.
“It was the worst injury I’ve seen playing frisbee,” Co-captain Jeff Gilmour (senior) said.
According to Gilmour, there were EMTs at the tournament who immediately took the field, and firefighters arrived to set Whitley’s arm and provide him with pain medication. Because the break was so bad, they were unable to set his arm and an ambulance took him to the closest hospital, Noah Azarin (first-year) riding with him. The EMTs were on the field for almost an hour, so Oxy did not finish that game and instead rested up before their fifth game of the day.
Because Whitley’s injury is so severe, he will be unable to play Ultimate for the rest of the fall. The team expressed that, as one of their best defenders, Whitley will be missed until the spring season.
Oxy went on to place eighth at the tournament, which also included Redlands, SDSU, Caltech and UCLA.
Occidental played a grueling five games on Saturday and two on Sunday, using 19 of the 30 men on the team. According to Azarin, the team “lost heart” after Whitley’s injury, but co-captain Andrew Blythe (senior) said that despite this set-back, the team had a lot to be proud of.
“The best part was seeing our freshmen perform,” Blythe said. “Seeing other people give 100% really developed the team unity.”
“Everybody worked really hard on both ends of the field,” Gilmour said.
Men’s Ultimate has nearly 15 new players on its team this fall and is hoping the team will grow even more when spring rolls around.
“The Ultimate program at Oxy is awesome because it’s a growing program,” Conditioning Coordinator Chris Olm (senior) said. “Since I’ve been here it has gone from a totally non-competitive team to a legit team that beats up on some teams, like USC.”
The seniors are optimistic about the effort these “eager rookies” have put forth already this fall.
“They’ve brought intensity, a desire to get better, and more rest for the vets,” Olm said.
In addition to weekend tournaments like the Worst Tournament of Your Life, the Tigers play in a co-ed Los Angeles Beach city league in Santa Monica every Sunday, which stared up a couple of weeks ago. Oxy’s Ultimate Frisbee alumni often participate in these games since participating teams can be formed by anyone living in the city.
“I’m really proud of the team and it’s a lot of fun. We’re just hoping to get better and better to represent Oxy,” Gilmour said. The Tigers look forward to the next fall tournament, the So-Cal Warm Up in San Diego November 22.
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