10 Iconic Club Nationals Highlights

by Joanne Miller

The USA Ultimate club National Championships are just around the corner, and anticipation is building for another thrilling tournament. As we look forward to this year’s event, it’s also an opportune time to reflect on the biggest highlights from the past 10 Club Nationals. From incredible layouts to game-changing blocks, these moments have left a lasting impact on the ultimate frisbee community.

In 2012, Dalton Smith of Doublewide made a statement with a remarkable layout block on the first throw of the men’s final. This tone-setting play set the stage for an intense matchup against Revolver and ultimately led to Doublewide’s victory.

The following year, Anna Nazarov of Fury showcased her athleticism with a breathtaking layout goal. The Bay Area team asserted their dominance early in the game, leaving their opponents in awe of their skills.

Opi Payne’s rundown block in 2014 was a display of both speed and agility. Payne’s incredible bid and interception wowed spectators and solidified her reputation as one of the best defenders in the sport.

Khalif El-Salaam of Mixtape made a statement in 2015 with a sky-high catch that left his opponents stunned. His athleticism and ability to elevate above defenders made him a force to be reckoned with.

Josh Markette’s scoop catch in the 2016 men’s final left everyone questioning how he managed to make such an unbelievable play. This inexplicable snag added to the excitement of an already intense game.

In 2017, Anna Thompson showcased her star power with a layout D on universe point in the mixed division national final. This game-changing block earned her Block of the Year honors and solidified her status as a rising star in the sport.

The following year, Simon Higgins of Revolver added flair to the finals with a high-flying layout goal. This clutch play helped secure another final appearance for the renowned team.

2019 brought about one of the most shocking upsets in recent Nationals history, thanks in part to Angelica Boyden’s soaring layout block. This play ignited excitement and enthusiasm both on the sideline and among fans.

In 2021, Ryan Osgar of Raleigh Ring of Fire delivered a game-winning forehand to secure the team’s long-awaited title. This throw may not have been the most flashy, but its significance cannot be understated, as it changed Ring of Fire’s legacy forever.

Manuela Cardenas’s turn-around block in the 2022 women’s final stood out as the most memorable play of the tournament. This twisting block, reminiscent of Spider-Gwen, stopped a break and helped Molly Brown secure their first-ever title. Fans are eager to see what Cardenas will bring to the field as the reigning US club champion.

As we eagerly await the start of the USA Ultimate club National Championships, let’s take a moment to appreciate the incredible moments that have defined the tournament over the last decade. These highlights serve as a reminder of the skill, passion, and excitement that make ultimate frisbee such an exhilarating sport.

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