Opening Pull: PDGA Worlds, PUL Practices, A Mechanix Moment Of Greatness

Pros take the spotlight in disc golf and ultimate alike.

The Premier Ultimate League's Milwaukee Monarchs held their first full practice of 2021. Photo credit: Jake Wilson
The Premier Ultimate League’s Milwaukee Monarchs held their first full practice of 2021. Photo credit: Jake Wilson

Welcome to Opening Pull! Ultiworld’s Monday wrap-up of the previous week in ultimate has returned, now available both in this space and as an email newsletter. As always, we’ve gathered the news you need to know and highlights you need to see. Check back weekly or subscribe now to receive Opening Pull in your inbox along with a rundown of the previous week’s content on Ultiworld.

History-Making Finishes Rock Disc Golf Worlds, Ultimate Players There Too

As readers of Ultiworld’s disc golf sister site are well aware, the 2021 PDGA Pro World Championship took place this June 22 to June 26 in Ogden, UT. While this Pro Worlds will probably be best remembered for its jaw-dropping endings in both the MPO and FPO divisions (did you see that James Conrad shot?), the event also saw a respectable contingent of current and former ultimate players, including Ella Hansen (11th in FPO), Alyssa Weatherford (T-34th), Leah Tsinajinnie (54th), Andrew Fish (39th in MPO), and Brodie Smith (T-40th).

If all this chain-banging has you too hyped to focus on the rest of this post, keep the magic going by revisiting Daniel Prentice’s profile of Tsinajinnie and Hansen’s pivots to disc golf, Tsinajinnie’s interview on Sin The Fields, or Weatherford’s interview on Deep Look.

Premier Ultimate League Teams Ramping Up For 2021 Return

As the Premier Ultimate League looks forward to a regional tournament-based return to competition later this year, new expansions and veteran teams alike are getting into the swing of practicing again. New York Gridlock captain Kelly Hyland echoed the sentiments of many players taking the field again in a blog post on the team’s website:

Pulling into the parking lot. Putting on cleats. Saying hi in-person for the first time in over a year. Throwing before the first huddle. It was all so familiar and easy. After a year plus spending the majority of every day on zoom calls struggling to find a sense of self, I finally had a wave of quiet contentment. Goodbye temporary hobbies I dabbled with to fill the void. This is where I want to be and who I want to be with.

These rituals were so reassuring. Yes, there were nerves and jitters and awkwardness (on my part), but they were present in an endearing sense. Before a big game when I’m nervous, I find comfort in that because it tells me I care. It feels good to care again.

Meanwhile in the Central Division, 2020 expansion Milwaukee Monarchs have shared photos and video from their first practice, featuring many familiar faces from elite club in the Illinois-Wisconsin corridor. The Monarchs also plan a team night in partnership with the AUDL’s Chicago Union on July 2, with Monarchs players on hand to lead games and sell raffle tickets.

Detroit Mechanix Carry Banner For Ultimate Excellence In Front Of National Sports Audience

The AUDL’s Detroit Mechanix, whose athletic supremacy and competitive awesomeness Opening Pull has never doubted, notched a #4 spot on SportsCenter with this very cool Joe Cubitt grab:

USA Ultimate Hall of Fame 2021 Cycle Begins, New Website Coming Soon

The Board of Directors for USAU’s Ultimate Hall of Fame have announced selection process details and vetting committees for 2021, with nominations due July 19 of this year. Additionally, while old Hall of Fame content remains available on the archived version of USAU’s old website, a new and revamped Ultimate Hall of Fame site is expected soon. Hall of Fame administrator and 2004 inductee Suzanne Fields has been sharing additional news and information about the efforts on social media as well as in a guest interview on the Share the Air podcast hosted by Tulsa Douglas and Luisa Neves.

Coming Up

The Triple Crown Tour’s Pro-Elite Challenge is returning to Aurora, CO the weekend of July 10-11! While the tournament may look a little different this year, Ultiworld will be on the scene with video and written coverage. In the meantime, stay tuned to our website for club preview content in the men’s, women’s, and mixed divisions, including new and restructured programs, teams on the rise, and roster additions to watch in the coming season.

  1. Mags Colvett
    Mags Colvett

    Mags Colvett is a former Associate Editor at Ultiworld, the holder of a creative writing MFA from Ohio State University and a literature MA from the University of Georgia, and a proud career B-teamer. They live in Queens and tweet at @magscolv.

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