Colorado Springs, Colo. (May 11, 2017) – USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and proud member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is pleased to announce the seedings and competition schedule for the 2017 Division III College Championships.
The top seeds at this year’s championships go to Bryant University and Williams College in the men’s and women’s division, respectively.
Despite not reaching the 10-game threshold for inclusion in regular-season rankings, Bryant takes the top spot in the men’s division on the back of a strong postseason. Craze went undefeated through their conference and regional championships, including a convincing win over Dartmouth Pain Train in the regional final, a team that has historically competed in Division I. After reaching the semifinals in 2015, Bryant finished tied for ninth at the D-III Championships last year.
Franciscan, Richmond and Air Force round out the top four in the men’s division and are the remaining one-seeds in their respective pools. Franciscan won the D-III title in 2015, in the program’s first year of existence and finished tied for fifth in Winston-Salem last year. Richmond has one of Division III’s top teams over the last several years but has not yet reached the semifinals at the D-III Championships.
Last year, in their first appearance at the D-III Championships, Air Force earned their way to the semifinals.
Williams LaWUFA has been one of Division III’s strongest programs since its inception. Williams is a two-time finalist at the D-III Championships and finished tied for fifth place last year. They earned the overall top spot on the back of a strong regular season that had them topping many Division I teams in the rankings. They sat atop the Division III rankings for the entirety of the season and solidified the one seed by claiming both their conference and regional championships. They earned the first bid out of the New England Region, likely the women’s division’s toughest region.
Two past champions and a 2016 semifinalist – Bowdoin, Carleton College-Eclipse and St. Olaf – round out the top four in the women’s division. Although they failed to qualify for the Championships last year, Bowdoin took home the title in 2013 and was a finalist in 2015. Carleton College-Eclipse is the defending champion, their second title after also winning the crown in 2011. Eclipse has reached the semifinals in four of the last five years. St. Olaf has reached the D-III Championships in six of the last seven years and have made themselves a fixture in the top seven; last year was their first trip to the semifinals.
The 2017 Division III College Championships will be held May 20-21, in Lexington, Ky. The event will be hosted by Bluegrass Ultimate and VisitLex.
The D-III College Championships were first held in 2010. The 32 teams that qualified for this year’s event reached the championships by advancing through conference and regional championship events held around the country in late April and early May.