Amherst ultimate takes 12th at Nationals

By ALEX YU

Staff Intern

Published: 06-18-2023 6:47 PM

For the first time in program history, the Amherst Hurricanes Boys x Varsity Ultimate team attended the High School National Invite in Salt Lake City, Utah last weekend.

Amherst had received an invitation to the prestigious tournament every year since it began, but just now chose to accept due to changes in the team selection process.

“Due to new formatting changes such as qualifiers, the organizers made it more equitable for the teams,” Amherst senior Tyler Feeney said.

The Hurricanes headed to Utah with an 18-4 record and a state championship under their belts. They were originally seeded 15th out of the 16 teams in the open division, but were able to notch a 12th place finish going 1-5 on the weekend.

They ultimately finished with losses to South Eugene and Northwest on Friday in pool play, and Montclair, Lincoln, and Nathan Hale on Saturday. They also beat Montclair on Friday to earn their spot in the pre-quarter finals.

“It was a bit rough going 0-3 the second day, but we still had a lot of fun meeting new people and playing these fun games with each other,” said Feeney. 

The Hurricanes finished pool play with a point differential of minus-1, putting them right in the thick of their division. Standouts in pool play included captains Feeney and Taylor Hanson, as well as seniors Cian Gahan, Ian Buchanan and Armando Feldman. 

The experience was all positive from the Hurricanes.

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“Each game we set a stronger intention to love each other more and enjoy the game more,” Hanson said. “We challenged ourselves to put all of our energy into just playing and enjoying ourselves, and the national stage was a great opportunity to spread our values.”

Amherst coach Joe Costello had high praise for the tried and tested Hurricanes.

“I feel really content and grateful, and it was really fun watching this team in an extended season, seeing that extra growth and connection,” Costello said. 

“We wouldn’t change anything about how we approached the tournament,” he continued. “We approached this tournament in the same way we would approach a local tournament. We try to do the same stuff for every tournament for every season.”

Lone Peak from Salt Lake City clinched its second straight national title, convincingly defeating South Eugene in the semifinals before taking out Eastside Prep in the final. The Hurricanes played Lone Peak in Amherst earlier this season, losing 14-11.

South Eugene came out on top in the girls’ division, with Roosevelt and Green Canyon rounding out the top three. Four Rivers of Greenfield was able to place seventh and finished with a 3-3 record.

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