May 22, 2018

The Current

In this week's edition:

  • Oh Yes She Did! The D-I Callahan Award Special

The D-I Callahan Award Special

In excitement of this week's upcoming D-I College Nationals, we're releasing our top 10 Callahan Award videos! There were so many great videos although we couldn't feature them all, here are our top 10 names, judged on the quality, highlight reel, and regional and recognition spread. Here's our list of top videos and stay tuned for coverage at Nationals!

10. Danielle Byers, West Chester University

At the beginning of the season, I don’t think many people had West Chester University as a pick to go to Nationals. This year, they’ve been crushing partly due to a great deep game from Danielle Byers who can throw hucks, catch hucks, and run them down when they seem a little “too far”. Given West Chester’s lack of notoriety, which means a lack of high-quality footage as seen in other videos, Byers’ video is beautifully pieced together still images with highlights and comments from teammates and reporters. On top of having a great season, Byers has also been an outspoken advocate for sexual consent in WCU’s ultimate program, having given an incredible speech to the West Chester men’s team earlier this season, which you should check out along with her Callahan video. 


9. Alissa & Linnea Soo, Whitman College

This video makes me wish I had a twin. It also is incredible to watch another set of twins (Bex & Katey Forth, Manuela & Valeria Cardenas) crush it in ultimate. The editing is done to showcase each twin laying out, making a great throw, and getting a big D, and I’m still undecided on who is the faster of the two because both have wheels. Look for both to be big contributors heading into this weekend in Milwaukee.


8. Ashley Powell, North Carolina State

Ashley Powell has been relatively unknown until this year when North Carolina State Jaga Monsta took the second bid out of the Atlantic Coast Region that normally went to University of Virginia Hydra. Powell is one of the calmest players on the field, hucking it deep or working through a zone. Not only that, but at 2:13, there was a quick cameo of her adorable cats, and I think all Callahan videos from now on should have a pet cameo. Layout D’s and kittens and/or puppies - who could say no?? Either way, Powell is a name to keep on your radar for this weekend and beyond.


7. Megan Wilson, Tufts University

Megan Wilson’s video has unreal opening credits. The beautiful editing of the intro demonstrates how far Callahan videos have come, and makes me excited to see where they’ll go in the future with more access to more and better technology. Wilson, a rookie on Boston Brute Squad, has everything in this video: the handler cuts, the throws, the D’s, all the classics of a strong Callahan nominee. She also has the nastiest cut at 2:13 when she breaks a person’s ankles on an upline cut. The editor then reverses the clip and plays it back in slow. Fricking. Motion, making it one of the most badass clips in all of the Callahan videos.


6. Dena "Chrome" Elimelech, University of California, San Diego

Please someone fake on this woman! Dana “Chrome” Elimelech and her Callahan video get a shout out for having the most hand blocks and foot blocks of any video, particularly lay out hand blocks. She’s also a great thrower, and can both cut and handle making her one of the more lethal players for this weekend. University of California San Diego has a great chance to win the tournament if Chrome has a great weekend.


5. Jenny Wei, University of North Carolina

Jenny Wei is one of the reasons University of North Carolina Pleiades is ranked third going into Nationals. Wei’s video is highly supplemented (almost unfairly so) with highlights from U24 Worlds this past year, especially in the incredible Japan vs. USA pool play game, which Wei has some of the biggest plays of the game (see 0:51 & 1:13 of her Callahan video). She’s a strong deep deep in the air with pinpoint precision on her deep throws that make JWei one of the best all around players in the game.


4. Carolyn Normile, University of Pittsburgh

If anyone can compete with top all-around player as Wei, it’s Normile, who personally is my pick for Callahan. She came to prominence in the 2015 All Star Tour with dirty break throws (which I’m bummed no footage was included due to the USA Ultimate eligibility rules of only judging players on their success of this most current college season). Normile is the best all around thrower in the game right now and can put the disc wherever she wants. Further, this video is so fun with small clips of her personality (see her play the trombone and catch unidentified small things in her mouth at the beginning) and has cool editing techniques (1:58). Normile is also the Babe Ruth of the sport, calling her shots (0:50) and then throwing deep hucks, except she’s also the leapord of the sport for when she points, it’s already too late and it’s another Pitt score.


3. Ellen Au-Yeung, University of British Columbia

When Nathan Kolakovic edits your Callahan video, how can it not be top 3? Add the talent of Ellen Au-Yeung, one of UBC’s best players of all time, and you have one of the best viewing spectacles of the Callahan season. She’s fast, has great footwork on both sides of the mark, and although is not the tallest player on the field, has the longest reach when you include how far she can layout in stride. She’s also just one of those really nice people, it’s hard to not love her. She has the supporting cast this year from UBC to go far and be a (biased) favorite to win it all.


2. Ella Hansen, University of Oregon

“One Throw Ella” sounds like an episode name of comedy sitcom which makes me hyped to both watch the video and to hear the different phrases Ultiworld reporter Keith Raynor says this upcoming weekend. It’s also a very true moniker, as most of the video is Hansen throwing dime after dime after dime. This is top 2 for its audio editing quality - seamless transition from song to song and the way it includes, but doesn’t rely on, outside commentary. Plus, every highlight is timed to the beat, and chose a great song I happily cannot get out of my head.


1. Jackelyne "Kobe" Nguyen, University of California, Berkeley

It’s hard to not be #1 when you have as many bid highlights as Jackelyne "Kobe" Nguyen and a video editor as talented as former Cal Pie Queen teammate and 2016 Callahan winner, Marisa Rafter. Kobe bids, and bids, and throws deep hucks, and makes big bids. If the disc is in a 10-foot radius of Kobe, odds are high she’ll track it down. The video is extremely exciting, nice and concise, and chose great music making it the best Callahan video of the year. Unfortunately, Kobe and Cal didn’t make it to Nationals this weekend so look for her playing with Rafter for San Francisco Nightlock in the summer!


Article written by Laurel Oldershaw, who tried to limit as much of her bias as possible as she could in choosing our rankings .