A national championship is coming back to Oakland, from a sport many don't think of. The Pitt men's ultimate team (Frisbee is actually trademarked) defeated Wisconsin 15-10 to claim the USA Ultimate Division I College Championship on Memorial Day in Boulder, Colorado. The road to the crown was a hard fought one for Pitt.
Although it entered the tournament with the No. 2 seed, Pitt Ultimate, nicknamed En Sabah Nur, faced a difficult path to the title.
After defeating California-Davis, Luther and Texas, Pitt lost to Michigan in the final game of the preliminary round-robin stage of the tournament. But En Sabah Nur, whose name derives from the Marvel Comics character Apocalypse, still clinched Pool B with a 3-1 record.
Pitt rebounded from the loss to defeat Minnesota easily in the quarterfinals, setting up a semifinal showdown with traditional power and defending national champion Carleton College.
Despite falling behind 8-3 early in the matchup, Pitt roared back to win the contest by a score of 14-12.
More details about the title game, including pictures and video, after the jump.
Once in the title game, Pitt opened up a 4-0 lead over the Badgers and never looked back. Senior co-captain Colin Conner attributes the team's championship run to their superior conditioning and preparation.
"We just knew that we were in better condition than them," Conner said. "When we started out the game on a 4-0 run, there was just no doubt."
Shortly after last year’s loss in the national quarterfinals, Conner said the team members dedicated themselves to improving conditioning. He said this included attending 10 a.m. practices on weekends, as well as running and working out independently.
This isn't the most traditional story, but it's something that definitely deserves some recognition. A national championship, at any level, is a huge accomplishment and one that justifies a hearty commendation, especially when Pitt is represented so well. Congratulations, gentlemen. Pictures of the hardware and video highlights from the tournament can be found here.