This year’s Chicago Heavyweights gave a great preview of how top teams should finish in this year’s Central Region. Elite teams Machine, Madcow, Madison Club, and Sub Zero joined many other talented club teams from the country, including visitor Condors, for a great weekend of ultimate.
While traditionally held at the Naperville Polo Grounds, a.k.a. the biggest field you’ll ever see, this year’s games were at the Waukegan Sports Park. Other changes were paid parking and a concession stand for any tournament food. Ouch. Despite that, it was a beautiful, sunny weekend that gave many teams their last test before the Series begins.
Pool A featured top-ranked Machine making quick work of Natives, a Chicago club team comprised mostly of North Park college players. Next, in a likely Sunday showdown at Central Regionals, Machine faced Madison Club, beating them 13-10 in their first matchup of the season. The highlight of the game was a great chase and layout grab for the score by Machine’s Rory Gallagher, which can be seen on video here. Machine finished the day with a 13-12 win over Madcow. Madcow takes #2 in the pool with a 13-12 win over Madison Club.
In Pool B, Sub Zero easily clinched the pool , with their only close game a 13-10 win over Evil. Evil, a Louisville-based team that has won several smaller tournaments this season such as Scinny and Swill in the Ville, folded today against tougher competition. Despite starting the day ranked second in B Pool, they would go win less on Saturday. The Condors, visiting from Santa Barbara, would take second in the pool.
Machine’s path to the finals would start with Sentinel in the quarters, with Machine taking half at 7-3 and not letting up, finishing 13-5. Then, in a repeat of Saturday, Machine beat Madison Club again 11-9 to make it into the finals. Sub Zero played their quarters game against City Park Ultimate, an Iowa City team that had won Pool C. Sub Zero won 13-9 and went on to beat Madcow 13-8 in semis to play Machine. Michine would beat Sub Zero in the finals 13-8 to claim the belt and notch a big win going into the series. Madison Club would avenge yesterday’s loss to Madcow and win the 3rd place game 12-11.
Looking Ahead to the Series
Right now, it appears that Machine is set to take the Central Region in this year’s club series. At Emerald City Classic, Machine beat the teams they were supposed to beat and also played very well against Sockeye on the last game on Sunday, matching them at 9-9 before letting the game get away from them. Machine got through Heavyweights unscathed and exhibits some fantastic athletic players and a strong handling core. After Machine, Sub Zero has gotten quality wins over both Madcow (in CHC’s semis) and Madison Club (at Colorado Cup). Yet, this region has four very talented teams with a very small talent gap. Anything could happen on October 2nd when these teams battle for their tickets to Sarasota.
The Women’s division featured only seven teams, showing the St. Louis team Revolution going undefeated in pool play and winning the final against Notorious CLE by an impressive 13-3. Revolution bounced back from a disappointing ECC appearance last month to outscore their opponents this weekend 91-23.
Chad Larson Experience went undefeated in pool and bracket play. In the finals, they beat Drag’n Thrust 13-10. This game showed a rematch of the Minnesota Ultimate Disc Invite’s finals, where Drag’n Thrust beat Chad Larson 15-13.