Photo Courtesy of Michelle Landis

1. How did you first get into ultimate frisbee? 

Ever since I could walk, I’ve always loved to play competitive sports.

So, after school volleyball season ended my senior year of high school, I played some casual pick up with some friends and played a bit at summer camp.

I knew I wanted to play on the ultimate team at the college I went to, so I showed up to the first Rochester women’s team practice and, after a few weeks, I was hooked.

That summer, while at home in Houston, I made the club women’s team there, Inferno, and was able to learn and improve a lot.

The past two summers, I’ve continued to play with Inferno while also being a practice player on Showdown, a semi-professional team out of Austin, Texas, that is currently ranked fourth in the world.

It has been such a fun and rewarding experience learning from such talented athletes these past three years.

2. What is the most rewarding aspect of the sport?

The most rewarding aspect of ultimate is that I get to travel around the country and compete against great athletes with some of my closest friends, who are just as crazy about the game as I am.  Nothing is more rewarding than doing what you love with the people you love.

3. Do you feel like ultimate is becoming more competitive?

Ultimate in the US is definitely becoming a more competitive sport. Last summer, it became officially recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, which is a huge step for the sport.

In addition, two professional leagues—the AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League) and the MLU (Major Ultimate League)—were developed, and, a few years ago, and the level of men’s and women’s play has increased dramatically over the past five or so years.

There has also been huge growth at the youth level as every year, more and more elementary, middle, and high school teams are developing across the country.

4. What was it like to try out for the U.S. National team?  

Playing for the Under-23 National team has been a goal of mine since freshman year, so getting the opportunity this past November to try out for the team was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had.

The top 100 players from the eastern US met in Florida one weekend in November and played our hearts out for 16 hours, all vying for our spot on the team.

I was humbled by the amount of talent at tryouts, and was able to gain more knowledge of the game, and received feedback from the coaches, which has been and will be invaluable to my growth as a player.

5. Where is your favorite place to compete?

I don’t have a specific favorite place to play, but, if I had to pick, any place that has nicely groomed fields and warm, sunny weather. I love playing in Texas and Florida.

6. What would you say to someone who said that Ultimate isn’t a sport? 

I would tell them that it is definitely a sport and then proceed to explain why.

A lot of people who have never heard of ultimate before confuse it with disc golf, or a bunch of people casually jogging around throwing a disc around with their friends. It is neither.

In actuality, it is comprised of the core athletic components that make up basketball, football and soccer.  It combines the cutting, jumping, sprinting and precise footwork needed to be fast and agile in basketball and football with the dexterity of throwing skills needed to shoot a basketball, throw a football or dribble and pass a soccer ball.

If you are still not convinced, go watch the Ultimate Frisbee Sports Center top ten plays from last year–the plays that made it are pretty incredible!

7.  Would you rather play Jenga with Steve Martin or Jon Stewart? 

I’d have to go with Steve Martin. Among othewr things, his character in “Pink Panther” was absolutely hilarious.

Douglas is a member of the class of 2017.

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