Incoming Ultimate players make an impact

KENZIE MEEKER /TheThreefoldAdvocate Lef to right, Gabriella Reincheld, Heather Hughes, Halie Bontrager and Hannah Sparks are among the students who are new to the team.
Lef to right, Gabriella Reincheld, Heather Hughes, Halie Bontrager and Hannah Sparks are among the students who are new to the team.

John Brown University’s women’s ultimate frisbee team is diving full-force into the heart of their season. The team has competed in multiple tournaments already this year, and owe a portion of their success to the new players on the team.

Hannah Sparks, a freshman biology major from Edmond, Oklahoma, said she’s excited to play ultimate, a sport she first began playing in high school.

“I love all the girls on the team,” Sparks said. “Their life experience, attitudes and outlook on life is so inspiring and uplifting.”

Heather Hughes, a sophomore teammate, shares her Sparks’ excitement for the current season.

“The classes I’m in are demanding, and being able to go out and play frisbee for two hours three days a week really helps reduce the level of stress,” Hughes said. “I’m also meeting new people and forming good friendships with them, which is helping me adjust to the social life here.”

The women’s ultimate team has between 17 and 20 active players, allowing for strong relationships to form between players.

“I have heard the testimonies of my teammates, and realized that I am not the only one who has felt the way I have been feeling this semester,” Ana Castillo, sophomore nursing major, said. Castillo described her teammates as patient, compassionate and caring.

Gabriela Reincheld, a freshman English major and missionary kid from Kenya, said she’s looking forward to perfecting her ultimate skills this season as well as growing closer to her team.

“My favorite part about ultimate frisbee, besides my amazing team, is learning all the different kinds of throws and attempting to do them,” Reincheld said.

Hallie Bontrager, a freshman outdoor leadership ministry and photography major from Wichita, Kansas, is another rookie anticipating the rest of the season.

“I don’t think ultimate is even a thing where I’m from, so I’m brand new to it,” Bontrager said. “I’m still getting to know everyone, but it is super awesome to be a part of a team.”

Alanna Kraybill is a junior intercultural studies and Christian ministry and formation major who has lived in four different countries, most recently South Africa.

“Joining the frisbee team has been a great new experience,” Kraybill said. “I have enjoyed meeting new people and being able to play frisbee with the friends that I already had on the team.”

Usually the JBU women’s ultimate team plays at least three games in a weekend tournament. The game is usually played to 13 or 15 points with half-time after one team scores 7 points. Sometimes there is also a time limit to ensure the game does not continue too long. Most often when the game is timed, the players play for 90 minutes. The JBU women’s ultimate team will compete at a tournament in Fayetteville on November 5 and 6.