‘Mr. Yuk’ ultimate team preps for nationals

Credit: Jesse Kummer/Personnel Manager Credit: Jesse Kummer/Personnel Manager

While most fall teams are winding down their seasons or preparing for UAAs, one Carnegie Mellon athletics team is making headway into its season. The Tartan Ultimate Frisbee Team — “Mr. Yuk” — has been sailing past competition and exceeding expectations the past few weeks at the Fall Brawl and Skylander X tournaments. The Ultimate team, composed of returning members and new blood alike, hopes that its intense conditioning and lineup depth will give it an edge over other teams at sectionals this year.
“We are returning a very core group of players who are looking to outperform the fifth-place finish at sectionals last year to make it to regionals for the first time in five years,” Assistant Captain Adam Knowlton said.

Mr. Yuk started its season with a 20-team tournament in Columbus, Ohio, taking ninth place and beating its initial seed of 15. After a run of four back-to-back games, the Tartans came away 2–2 with a win over Ohio State B, with a score of 13–5, and Kenyon College in a nail-biter that ended 14–13. In their final game, the Tartans took off a five-point chip from the University of Pittsburgh, a team consistently ranked in the top 10. On the second day of play, Mr. Yuk started off with a loss to Ohio State Alumni, but rebounded by topping Miami of Ohio and the University of Toledo 15–5 and 15–11, respectively. The Tartans also took the opportunity to work out kinks in their strategies and practice working as a unit in actual competitive play.

Mr. Yuk hit the road again a few weeks later, this time traveling to Edinboro, Pa. to compete in the Skylander X tournament. The Tartans took down Denison University, University of Virginia B, and University of Pennsylvania A with relative ease, dropping only 12 points in three games. After bypassing Penn State Behrend and Grove City University Alumni the next day, the Tartans faced the strong team and eventual tournament champions Edinboro University Alumni, losing 9–7 in overtime. This close loss to one of the best-perceived teams in the country is a good indicator to Mr. Yuk of where the team currently stands strength-wise.

“We are hoping to round out our fall with a strong performance at our most competitive tournament until we reach the spring season,” Knowlton said, reflecting on the past couple of weeks.

“Up until this point, we have been pretty injury-plagued, making our strong fall performance even more satisfying. We are getting a couple of guys back for this tournament, so we are hoping to show an even stronger field a better and more polished team, having had two weeks to refine our offense and solidify our main defense.”
Mr. Yuk will travel to Poolesville, Md. to compete in the Tartans’ final tournament of the season, the Colonial Ultimate Festival, on Nov. 13–14.