Stall 9: Touching the Void in Blaine, MN

A year of pushing alone through grief and uncertainty gives way to a night of joy, community, and pretty incredible ultimate at the 2018 US Open.

PoNY's Sean Keegan goes up for the disc at the 2018 US Open. Photo: Hugo Sowder
New York PoNY’s Sean Keegan goes up for the disc at the 2018 US Open. Photo: Hugo Sowder

With ultimate still on its pandemic-induced hiatus, our “Stall 9” column is an opportunity for Ultiworld staff members to share random opinions or reflections on what they’re thinking about or miss most from the sport. Just as is the case when the stall count reaches 9, anything goes.

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How do I get to the showcase field? How do I get to the stadium? Who do I ask for help? I’m 24 years old and I should know these things. Shouldn’t I?

There’s a night I will never forget as long as I’m alive on this tiny rock in this dazzling universe. I could call it “the night Revolver cracked” because I’m petty about sports. I could also call it “the night PoNY proved themselves championship material,” but that’s too long. Maybe I’ll stick with “the night I learned how to shoot sports photos, kind of.”

Whatever I call it, the 2018 US Open was a moment in time where something actually shifted in the way I see myself and understand some of my behaviors. At that point, I was eight years into being involved in ultimate, three years into working with Ultiworld, and two years out of undergrad. I was also seven years out from watching my mother slip away to breast cancer in May 2011, and eight months out from what I considered the most terrifying night of my life. And it all led to finding myself alone at the grass fields in Blaine, with a long trek to the stadium where the club semifinals were being played and no idea how I would make it.

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  1. Hugo Sowder
    Hugo Sowder

    A former player out of UNC Asheville and founder of Seven on the Line Productions LLC., Hugo has been involved in the North Carolina ultimate scene since 2010. As a freelance filmmaker and content creator he hopes to give back to the sport and community that's given so much to him. You can follow his adventures at https://twitter.com/Hugosowder

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