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Iowa Hawkeye Ultimate Club

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Iowa Hawkeye Ultimate Club

University The University of Iowa
League USA Ultimate College Division
Division D-I Open
Conference West Plains
Region North Central
Founded 1991
National Championship Qualifier 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2011
Conference Championships 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Colors Black, Gold, and Green


IHUC (/-hʌk/), is the D-I collegiate men's Ultimate team from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Since its establishment in 1991, IHUC has qualified for UPA/USA Ultimate Division I National Championships six times, finishing as high as 3rd place in 2011.



Coming off an 9th place finish at the 2010 National Championships the team had high hopes for the season. This excitement was amplified by the knowledge that IHUC would be coached by Ryan Nation, former National and World Champion with the Santa Barabara Condors. The team got off to a slow start finishing outside the top 10 at the premier Midwest tournaments of the fall season, Missouri Loves Company and NoWisconsiquences.[1][2]

The spring season began in February with a decisive tournament win at the first ever Free State Classic[3] in Kansas City.[4] The tournament was played on snow. The team would go undefeated, with its only close game coming against Illinois.

One week later, IHUC was roadtrip down to Baton Rouge for the annual Mardi Gras tournament. Shortened by storms, IHUC would play only a few games before losing in the finals to regional rival Minnesota.[5]

The team's next tournament was College Easterns, a prestigious event in Wilmington, North Carolina which annually invites only the top 16 teams in the country. IHUC, plagued by injuries and a few sick players, would go on to finish in 9th place.[6]

IHUC began the series with a West Plains Conference Championship in which they would beat a skilled Luther College team twice in the 40+ MPH winds of Cedar Falls, Iowa.[7] Two weeks later IHUC would finish 2nd at North Central Regionals upsetting Carleton College and Minnesota by scores of 14–6 and 15–3, respectively, and qualifying for the National Championships in Boulder, Colorado for the second straight year. In Boulder, Iowa would continue its unrelenting play with another upset in the first round over #1 overall seed Pittsburgh. IHUC would win four more games before falling to Carleton in the semifinals by a final score of 15–10. Carleton would go on to take 1st place.[8]

Notable games[edit]

2008 Regionals vs. Wisconsin[edit]

A few short months after the passing of Brian Gleason, IHUC peaked during a Regional semifinal match up against the reigning National Champions, the Wisconsin Hodags. Wisconsin took a commanding lead, but using a 2–4–1 zone defense often referred to as the Iowa Zone, Iowa was able to stifle Wisconsin's prolific offense, leading to an 8–0 run. This brought the game to Double Game Point, meaning the next team to score wins. While all this was going on, spectators from all over the tournament flocked to see the potential upset in the making. Hundreds of fans lined the playing field. The cold April weather of Decorah, Iowa proved to cause issues for both teams, and the final point saw numerous turnovers going both ways. However, in the end, Wisconsin came out on top on their way to a second straight National Championship.

2013 Regionals vs. Minnesota[edit]

Minnesota was the top ranked team in the country going into Regionals,[9] while Iowa was winding down a disappointing season after losing many of the players that had led them to nationals in previous years. The game was played in Cedar Falls, Iowa, a location IHUC had played in many times. It had rained significantly the night before,[10] which left the fields muddy and laden with puddles. Iowa had played in similar conditions at several tournaments that season and was well prepared for the slower pace of play; this in contrast to Minnesota who had the false luck of playing in nice weather all season.[11]

The game was a back and forth affair, with both teams leading at various points throughout. Minnesota took half 8–6. After halftime, Iowa began a strategy of tighter dump defense which made it more difficult for the handlers to get open for resets. Minnesota eventually managed to take a lead of 12–11 in a game to 14. However, Iowa would score the final three points to win on soft cap, 14–12.[12]

Brian Gleason[edit]

In January of 2008 team captain, Brian Gleason, tragically died in a car accident.[13] Gleason was the embodiment of what IHUC stands for: enthusiasm, dedication, and relentless work ethic, both on and off the field. To this day the team wears a #16 on the left sleeve in his honor.


External links[edit]

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