Big Muckamuck: UBC Thunderbirds

by | June 30, 2011, 1:51pm 0

School Name

University of British Columbia

Team Name



Kira Frew

Year Founded


# of Championships

1 (2008)

# of Regional Championships

2 (2001, 2008)

# of Sectional/Conference Championships

2 (2004, 2007)

Notable Victories

1997 down 8-6 at half during semis win against Carleton 14-10 to advance the T-birds to their first UPA College Championships Finals. 15-13 win in pool-play against second seeded Wisconsin at the 2007 UPA College Championships. The t-birds would make it to semis where they lost to Stanford on universe point. 2008 Centex Finals win against UW 9-7 to win the inaugural NCUS and $2000. 15-9 win against UCSB in the 2008 UPA College Championships Finals.

Rival Teams:

UW, UCSB, Stanford


Erica Tucker – 2013
Claire Williams – 2013
Alannah Johnston – 2012 – Zephyr
Hannah Epperson – 2011 – Traffic
Jenny Lo  – 2011 – Traffic
Val “GT” Lefebvre – 2010
Lindsay Olimer – 2010
Negar Elmieh – 2009
Kirsten Taylor – 2009
Bowinn Ma – 2009
Candice Chan – 2009 – Traffic
Nicole Short – 2008 – TFP
Mo Nguyen – 2008
Kira Frew – 2008 – Traffic
Iris Wong – 2008 – Traffic
Michelle Bowlen – 2007
Reg Matthews – 2007
Jessie Wu – 2007 – TFP
Lindsay Nettlefold – 2007 – Traffic
Justina Higgs – 2006
Megan O’Brien – 2006     – TFP
Melody Chan – 2005
Mel Harder – 2002 – Traffic
Jill Calkin – 1999 – Traffic
Vicky “VY” Chow – 1999 – Brute Squad

Briefly share the history of your school’s Ultimate program. How it started/developed into a competitive program.

Kira Frew & Tory Hislop. 2008 (Matt Lane)

The UBC women’s team was started in 1997 when a couple of girls were tired of playing with the men’s team and were interested in starting their own. VY (of Godiva and Brute Squad fame) helped coach, captain and played on the team during the first year of the team’s existence.  Over their first season, the T-birds would rapidly climb the UPA rankings and end up qualifying for the College Championships. With cotton t-shirts and taped on numbers, the T-birds made it all the way to the finals. Following the success of ‘97, the team qualified again in ‘99 and ‘01. For the next 3 years, the T-birds would consistently appear in the back-door final at Regionals but failed to qualify out of the tough NW region.

In 2005, Stephanie Chow came on as a coach part-time and proceeded to coach full time for the 2006-2009 seasons.  Her dedication to the team, her vision and experience played a big role in the development of the T-birds into a championship team. With Chow’s involvement the team went from finishing 7th at Regionals in 2005 to appearing at 3 consecutive UPA championships, each year besting the previous year’s results (2006- 5t, 2007- 3t, 2008- 1). After a two-year hiatus and some rebuilding and hard work, the T-birds made it back to the show. Over the last decade, the T-birds have shown that they belong in the top tier of college teams and they hope to continue the trend for years to come.

What are some of your school’s biggest victories/games in the past decade?

Winning the 2008 College Championship was by far the highlight of the UBC program.

Who on your roster will be making some of the big plays at the BM?

The majority of the team continued to play club ultimate and have developed to become impact players for their teams.  Look out for:

  • Unstoppable cutting by VY, Jill and Candice
  • Huge hucks by Erica and Justina
  • Break throws by Kira and Mel
  • Deep cuts by Reg and Nikki
  • Big skies by Hannah and Michelle
  • Stifling defense by J Lo, Lindsay O and Lindsay N
  • Foot blocks by Megan

Which match-ups are your team most looking forward to?

We are most looking forward to beating Colorado. Alex Snyder is the only Canadian to win the Callahan, and ever since then she has been bragging and bringing her trophy to every Canadian event that she possibly can. Being Canadian, we are polite and don’t really say anything, but at the Big Muckamuck, things are about to change, eh!

Why is your team going to win the BM?

Our team is going to win because we have the oldest of the old and the youngest of the young. Regardless of age, all the UBC alumni have been training hard by participating in two a day practices, running stairs, and most importantly, scrimmaging Furious (and winning).

2008 National Champions


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