2016 U.S. Open - Mixed Division Preview

Posted: June 30, 2016 09:59 AM


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The fifth-annual U.S. Open Championships are set to take place this weekend, July 1-4, in Kingston, R.I.

Thirty-four teams across the men's, mixed and women's divisions will compete to take home the first leg of the 2016 Triple Crown Tour.

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The 2016 Triple Crown Tour makes its first stop in West Kingston, R.I., for the fifth-annual USA Ultimate U.S. Open Championships this weekend, spanning four days of intense, elite-level play. The University of Rhode Island will host 12 mixed teams from all over the Americas. Nine U.S. teams will have to fight it out against teams from Canada, Panama and Colombia if they hope to keep the championship in the country. 

However, these foreign teams will have to play against some of the best the U.S. has to offer, with six Pro Flight teams and three Elite Flight teams in attendance at this four-day tournament. USA Ultimate’s state-based organization, New England Ultimate, along with WFDF and the Boston Ultimate Disc Association (BUDA) are hoping to make this event bigger and better than last year’s. With six returning teams from 2015’s U.S. Open in Ohio, you can be sure this event will be filled with high-level plays, competitiveness and spirit.

While there are no official "home" teams at this year’s U.S. Open, the New England region is putting up four teams in the mixed division, all of whom just came off a weekend playing at Boston Invite. 

Pool A

2015TCT Scandal   2015TCT Scandal   MetroNorth   AMP   2015TCT Scandal   Panama
Drag'n Thrust
  Polar Bears
  Metro North


With perennial National Championship contenders like Drag’n Thrust and Polar Bears taking the first and second seeds in Pool A, the rest of the teams will have to give it their all to make it to the championship bracket on Sunday. Drag’n Thrust (Minneapolis, Minn.) has won the USA Ultimate National Championships in each of the last three years. Polar Bears (San Francisco, Calif.) won the U.S. Open in 2014, but fell short last year, landing in sixth place, before finishing third at Nationals. These two storied teams are the only two teams to have played at every U.S. Open to date, and both have strong and favorable chances to win the pool. Drag’n Thrust’s Erica Baken and Sarah Meckstroth are coming off a gold-medal win with the U.S. mixed team at Worlds last week, and Sarah Anciaux won gold with the women’s team.

The second spot in the pool is ripe for the taking for the lower seeds. Philadelphia AMP, Connecticut’s Metro North and Toronto Union aren’t teams to sleep on. AMP is returning to the U.S. Open after missing out last year, and Union is making their third appearance. AMP’s Raha Mozaffari (another U.S. National teamer) is a player that teams have focused on in hopes to limit her cuts and throws. She could be a big boon to their offense. The Canadian team has skipped the USA Ultimate National Championships for their own nationals in the past, winning in 2013 and coming in second in 2015.

Newcomer Metro North has made a name for themselves in the New England region and at Nationals last year, where they finished seventh and earned a spot in the Pro Flight. They are coming fresh off a second-place finish at the Boston Invite last weekend, where they lost to Slow White in the finals after beating Union to get there. Handler Chris Mazur (formerly of PoNY) will look to use his throws, as his did with the U.S. mixed team in London last week, to bring Metro North to a semifinals appearance.

One of the two non-North American teams, Team Panama is sending their first official Panamanian Ultimate Frisbee National Team to the U.S. Open this year and are definitely the wild card of Pool A.



Pool B

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Seattle Mixtape
  Slow White
  Ambiguous Grey
  Wild Card


Pool B has 2015’s runner-up, Seattle Mixtape, as the one seed, who also took second place at Nationals last year. With playmakers like Khalif El-Salaam and Jesse Bolton, Mixtape will have a great chance of breaking their second-place curse.

Hoping to stop them are teams like Washington D.C. Ambiguous Grey as well as Slow White and Wild Card from Boston. Ambiguous Grey is returning to the U.S. Open for the first time since 2013 after finishing sixth at Nationals last year.

Slow White and Wild Card have had a heated rivalry over the past few years, always seeming to be paired up at Nationals, Boston Invite or New England Regionals. Last year, Wild Card managed to sneak away with a 15-14 win over Slow at the U.S. Open, but the storied team finished third at Nationals, earning a Pro Flight spot, while Wild Card finished in the Elite Flight. Former captain of New York Bent, Lexi Zalk, is returning to Slow White this season.

Both of these teams will hope to use ‘home" field advantage this weekend to overcome teams like Mixtape, Polar Bears and Drag’n Thrust.

Rounding out Pool B is Madison NOISE and Voltaje Ultimate Club, traveling all the way from Colombia, who are hoping to make a name for themselves on the international scale, after forming in 2015. NOISE is entering the U.S. Open after a successful 2015 season, where they claimed an Elite Flight spot at National.


Games begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday July, 1. The mixed division will play three pool play games that day and two on Saturday, followed by placement brackets for Sunday and Monday. Only the top two teams from each pool will have a chance to play for the U.S. Open Championship. 

It’s early in the season, but things are sure to heat up on the fields this weekend at the U.S. Open for the kickoff of the 2016 Triple Crown Tour.

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