2015 U.S. Open Championships - Mixed Division Preview

Posted: July 1, 2015 01:51 PM


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The fourth-annual U.S. Open Championships are set to take place this weekend, July 2-5, in West Chester, Ohio.

Thirty-six teams across the men's, mixed and women's divisions will compete to take home the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown Tour.

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With the calendar turning from June to July this week, all eyes will shift accordingly to the U.S. Open Championship taking place in West Chester, Ohio. The Triple Crown Tour regular season started with the first weekend of June with various tournaments taking place across the country already, but none of those tournaments have included a concentrated list of elite teams like the ones that will be competing this weekend. With some of the best teams from the United States and around the world coming together for this four-day tournament, it’s clear that the Triple Crown Tour is now officially in full swing.

This year’s U.S. Open has expanded from the traditional eight-team format to include 12 total teams, which will only increase the intrigue throughout the weekend. For every team in the mixed division, this will be their first action of the 2015 regular season. So with many unknowns going into the event, every team has the opportunity to make an early season statement in the division. That being said, the field of teams is definitely set up of for an extremely competitive event, with six teams returning from last year’s U.S. Open in Minnesota and seven who competed at last year’s National Championships in Texas.

It’s impossible to predict how the games will play out, but it can be guaranteed that the level of play will be exceptional and highly entertaining for spectators who have the chance to attend the event. Here are some brief highlights of what to look out for going into the weekend.

Pool A

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Drag'n Thrust
  Wild Card
  Polar Bears
  American BBQ


As the two-time defending national champions, Drag’n Thrust is naturally the headliner for Pool A. They also added a world championship to their résumé last summer, but Drag’n still came up just short at the U.S. Open, where they lost to the Polar Bears in the finals. A U.S. Open title has eluded the team through three attempts, so it’s clear that they will be gunning for that achievement in their fourth consecutive appearance. Despite some roster turnover, there is no doubt that Drag’n is eager to stay at the top of the division.

The rest of Pool A will certainly provide some challenges for the one seed, and with the depth and consistency of talent throughout, there will be no opportunities to ease up in any round. Wild Card is still a relatively new team, entering their fourth season together. However, they have made quick work of establishing themselves as a top team in the mixed division. With two consecutive National Championship semifinal appearances, as well as a semifinals appearance at last year’s U.S. Open, Wild Card will definitely be pushing to take the next steps in 2015. The Polar Bear are equally as dangerous and come in as the third team in the pool. In 2014, the Polar Bears won the U.S. Open (their second U.S. Open title), finished second at the WFDF World Championships behind Drag’n, won the Pro Finale and finished first in the final regular-season rankings. After such a successful season, their 3-4 record and 11th-place finish at last year’s National Championships came as a surprise to everyone. It will be interesting to see if that motivates the team to come back even stronger in 2015.

The remaining three teams are all attending their first U.S. Open Championships and will be challenged to rise to the level of play of the more decorated teams at the top of the pool. Interestingly enough, American BBQ (from San Francisco with Polar Bears) and Bird (from Minnesota with Drag’n Thrust) each represent second teams from their respective cities. It’s impressive that these two metropolitan areas can field multiple elite teams in the mixed division. American BBQ has Nationals experience (including a victory over the Polar Bears in 2014) and will be a tough match-up for any of their opponents. Bird has continued to improve in a very tough North Central region (finishing behind Drag’n, CLX, and Noise in 2014) and will certainly benefit from the experience at this event. If they want to take the next step this season, it will come down to them winning games against teams like the ones they will see this weekend. Finally, Ellipsis makes the long journey from Australia to represent as one of two teams in the division from outside of the USA Ultimate regional boundaries. Their Thursday games could be a key indication of where they stand in the division based on their ability to adjust against the American teams and overcome the challenges of travelling around the globe.

Pool B

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Seattle Mixtape
  The Chad Larson Experience
  Slow White
  Team Colombia


Pool B appears to have slightly more parity and includes teams with less consistent recent histories than some of the teams in Pool A (i.e., Drag’n, Wild Card, Polar Bears). Starting at the top, Seattle Mixtape figuratively blasted onto the scene last fall in Frisco with a run to the finals at the National Championships, where they eventually lost to Drag’n Thrust. As a fourth-year team, Seattle has much different expectations coming into this season than they would have in their first few years, largely thanks to their first and impressive Nationals performance in 2014. Coincidentally, Seattle is the only team in Pool B that has not competed at the U.S. Open previously. They will definitely be looking to build on last year by starting this season off with a strong showing.

CLX and Slow White are essentially the antithesis to Seattle Mixtape as far as team histories go. Both have been around for more than 10 years and each has made consistent Nationals appearances throughout that time. However, neither team has been able to capture that elusive national championship, coming up just short. CLX had a very impressive run at the 2014 National Championships, with their only loss coming in a tremendous semifinal game against Drag’n Thrust. Their experience will definitely benefit them in a pool filled with slightly less-experienced teams. Slow White joins Wild Card as the second team at the tournament from Boston, and like CLX, will use their team experience to help them navigate the pool.

Cahoots and Union each come into this tournament with one previous appearance at the U.S. Open (Cahoots in 2013 and Union in 2014). Both teams also just barely missed out on the 2014 National Championships, each losing in their respective regionals’ games-to-go (Southeast and Northeast). This makes both teams dangerous as they come into the tournament with something to prove. With the schedule spread out over the four-day weekend, each of these teams could provide single-game match-up problems for some of the top teams. Finally, Team Colombia is making their fourth consecutive appearance at the U.S. Open and is the second team in the division this year outside of the USA Ultimate regional boundaries. The squad has struggled in years past against the top U.S. teams, but they continue to improve and will look to surprise some teams in 2015.


All together, these teams will have to be prepared for some of the top competition they will face all summer. As all of them work through the early season process of developing chemistry and incorporating new players for 2015, they will need to make it happen quickly in order to find success this weekend. The team that comes out most prepared just may be the team that is walking away with the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown on Sunday. Action starts this Thursday (July 2) with the first round for the mixed division scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. You won’t have to wait long for the competition to ramp up either, as the first game of the tournament is Drag’n Thrust versus Polar Bears, a re-match of last year’s world championship finals. Best of luck to all of the teams competing, and spectators – just get ready to enjoy!

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