It’s all about the intensity and sportsmanship.
For Carly Campana of Kirkland, those are the quintessential qualities for her game of choice — ultimate. The non-contact sport is played with a disc, and points are scored when a team catches the flying object in its opponent’s end zone.
For the second consecutive year, Campana, an alumnus of the Three Cedars Waldorf School in Bellevue, has been selected to the USA Junior National women’s under-20 ultimate team.
“I feel incredibly honored and excited to be one of eight girls from the Seattle area who will be on the u20 national team,” said Campana, 18. “I play ultimate as much as possible — last summer I played on a youth club team as well as an adult club team and that experience taught me so much about the game and made me love ultimate even more.”
Campana began playing ultimate in sixth grade after being introduced to the sport by some friends who played the game. Along with intensity and sportsmanship, she appreciates the space that ultimate creates to be both competitive and “spirited.”
“Ultimate is a really great game,” she said. “Plus, the ultimate community in Seattle is so genuine, supportive and inspiring. I enjoy playing so much because of the people I’ve met through this sport.”
Two years ago, Junior Worlds were held in Wroclaw, Poland, where the boys won gold and the girls snagged silver. This year, worlds will be held Aug. 19-25 in Waterloo, Ontario, in Canada.
The 48 athletes named to the two Junior National team rosters – men’s and women’s – are some of the world’s best youth ultimate players. The final rosters were selected after two weekends of tryouts that included more than 200 athletes, who were selected from a pool of nearly 400 initial applicants.
Junior Worlds, which represents the 18th edition of the tournament, is expected to host 37 teams and approximately 1,000 athletes from 19 countries.
“This is a fantastic sport that builds character and requires a strong spirit element. The sport is self-officiated, which makes it unique. Bill Nye has predicted it will be the game of the future,” reads a press release.
Three Cedars Waldorf ultimate coach Gavin Sing said he’s blessed to have guided Campana and Adam Jemal of Bellevue — who made the USA Junior National men’s under-20 ultimate team — along their athletic journey.
“If anything, I hope that my short time with them helped them to become more independent and to believe in their own strength,” Sing said.
After graduating from middle school, Campana gave back to Three Cedars by sharing her talent as an assistant coach.
“Carly is an amazing person with a great attitude, who I have seen match up against some of the top women players in our sport who have been playing at the highest level for many years and Carly does not break a sweat,” Sing said. “Her work ethic on the field is amazing and is so easy to coach, but she never needed to be coached.”