Freshman scores U-20 national team tryout

Alex Cirino

Freshman Margot Nissen, only 14 years old, is one of the youngest athletes to be invited to try out for the under-20 US Women’s National Ultimate Frisbee team. After surviving a selective application process where three out of every four students were rejected, Nissen will compete alongside the nation’s top young frisbee players from November 16 to the 17th in the tryout camp in North Carolina.

Nissen’s frisbee career began when her older brother and Wilson graduate Jacques Nissen taught her how to throw in fifth grade. With some encouragement from her mother, she began playing on a DC and Maryland-based high school girls team, Northwest Corridor (NWC). After much success on NWC, Nissen played for the U-17 DC Force team at the Youth Club Championship (YCC) in Minnesota during the summer of 2018 and leveling up again this past summer on the U-20 YCC team DC Rogue. 

On DC Rogue, Nissen was coached by Jackson Cochran who played on the U-24 men’s national team over the summer. When the U-20 team application opened, Cochran encouraged all of his players to apply and wrote their recommendations. Besides the recommendation, Nissen also had to include a lot of information about her strengths, weaknesses, and general knowledge about frisbee. “It’s not about how far you can throw,” Nissen explained. “It’s more like what kind of positions you play and what you know about frisbee.” 

Nissen’s left-handedness makes her throws difficult to anticipate. “Ultimate defense is based on expecting people to throw a certain way, but lefties do the opposite so [the opponents] get confused,” Nissen added. “I also love hearing coaches yell ‘she’s a lefty, she’s a lefty!’”

Nissen was an integral part of the Wilson team when it won the 2019 Virginia State tournament. She played alongside 2019 Wilson graduate Claire Schmitt who also earned a tryout invitation for the U-20 team.

Nissen already has aspirations for her frisbee career after high school. “I want to play in college,” said Nissen. “Although it’s really hard to make a career out of it I really want to play club and maybe even professionally.” 

She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her brother, Jacques. Currently a freshman at Brown University, he led the Wilson ultimate team to the Ultiworld High School National Invite tournament for two consecutive years. He also played for the U-20 France National team that earned bronze at the 2018 World Junior Ultimate Championships. 

Both Nissens, and Wilson graduates Schmitt, Aaron Rosenthal, Adin McGurk, and current senior Aaron Bartlett, received invites to the national tryout.