Back in the Saddle: Sam’s 5 Things to be Excited About at D-III Nationals

The return of Sam Echevarria! She lays out the most enticing parts of the upcoming D-III Championships, with the help of Mike Ball.

Tamar Austin (right) receiving the Donovan Award from Ultiworld’s Sam Echevarria. Photo: Nick Lindeke — UltiPhotos.com

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Surprised at the name you see up there in the byline? Me too!

For folks who don’t know me, this is former College D-III Women’s Editor Sam Echevarria, dialing in, shaking off the dust, and getting ready to be part of Ultiworld’s reporting team at the 2023 D-III College Championships. While I’ve missed being up close to the D-III college ultimate action since moving abroad in early 2021, this year is different. Instead of watching from afar (physically and in terms of time zones) the stars aligned alongside my travel schedule to make it out to Obetz, Ohio for the Big Show. (Mike: Where else would one who’s been living in the Netherlands rather spend their limited time back in the States?!) It’s going to be quite the ride telling the stories from 7500 Club HQ alongside Scotti, Mike, and the entire crew, and I’m glad I won’t have to miss a single minute.

There’s no sweeter time of the year than the Championships whether you’re a graduating senior, a starry-eyed first year dreaming of a title, or yours truly. This will be my eighth D-III College Championships (M: What a flex from Sam.)–four as a player for the Claremont Greenshirts, one as team support as a Claremont alum, and two with Ultiworld–and I’m possibly more excited than anyone not lacing up cleats to spend next weekend in Ohio. As I wait for my flight to the US to board, I’ve put together my top five reasons I’m looking forward to the 2023 College Championships.

Hi everyone, this is Mike Ball. For those of you who don’t remember, Sam and I did this piece in 2019 inspired by a Players Tribune piece where Quentin Richardson chimed in on the writing of his friend, Darius Miles. I never got the chance to return the favor and provide commentary on Sam’s writing, so what better time than now? So any italics you see in this piece are from me.

1. Women’s: Old Teams and New To Check Out

Looking at the list of attending teams on the women’s division side is like looking at an old yearbook filled with both friends and beloved rivals from my playing years. With the growth of the division as well over the years, there are even some new-to-me teams I’m hoping to learn more about and see in action for the first time.

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  1. Sam Echevarria
    Sam Echevarria

    Sam Echevarria is the Women's D-III College Editor at Ultiworld. She has been playing ultimate since 2010, starting with the Centerville HS Outsiders and later the Claremont Colleges Greenshirts. Currently based in Madison, WI, you can reach her on twitter (@sechevarria27).

  2. Michael Ball
    Michael Ball

    Michael Ball is the Men's D-III College Editor for Ultiworld. You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter @mike_ball423

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