Claire Chastain, of North Carolina-Wilmington, embodies every aspect of the Callahan Award. She may be one of the best all-around players in the college women’s game, sparking an excitement for the game unseen since Miranda Roth graced the college women’s division. Her fiery defense does not detract from a poised, collected presence on offense, making her THE player her opponents game plan around.
Chastain has every throw in the book and uses them all in game situations, no matter how big the game may be. Her break scoobers and hammers are not a sign of being flashy; rather, it’s to take advantage of the open look and get it off quickly, effortlessly, and without hesitation. Her vision of the field makes her one of the most lethal throwers in all of women’s Ultimate today, in both the college and club divisions.
Her defensive presence is downright scary. A defensive leader in the stat books of nationals past, her layout defensive blocks have the potential to change the outcome of entire tournaments for her team. When Chastain is on the field, her opponents feel the pressure of an eighth defender.
Unlike many physical players, Chastain does not lose her cool when the pressure increases. She does not curse at teammates for mistakes, she does not disrespect her opponents, she does not misuse the rules for her advantage. She is a class act, a true competitor, and a firm upholder of Spirit of the Game.
If her on-field performance is not enough to turn heads, I invite you to talk to her off the field. Her humble persona is approachable and warm: she loves all aspects of Ultimate on and off the field. She loves building community, and helping give back to teams who are growing. A selfless leader, our game is better for having her in it.
- Chastain, Claire (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
- Zahniser, Bailey (University of Oregon)
- Tajima, Claudia (Tufts University)
- Hoffmann, Liên (Northwestern)
- Miller, Rebecca (Iowa State University)