Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Men’s and Women’s Rugby Teams Compete in National Championships

Men's Rugby Team
Alice Maples '09
The Claremont men (in blue) win the line out.

The Claremont Colleges men’s and women’s rugby teams competed in USA Rugby’s Collegiate Championship Tournament in Sanford, Florida April 22-23. The teams represented Southern California as the regional champions and were the only schools with both teams competing. The men’s team upset Wisconsin-Milwaukee 35-23 on Saturday, qualifying for the final four on Sunday. Though they lost to last year’s champion, Northern Colorado, Head Coach Wally Cox said the team “played phenomenally,” finishing in third place. Pitzer senior and team captain Ryan Altick scored five tries for the team. The women’s team lost on Saturday to Plumas State, but came back to win their consolation game against University of Georgia on Sunday, tying for fifth place.

Celebrating 100 years of rugby in Claremont, the men’s team was particularly excited to make the final four on Sunday.

“It shows what a lot of hard work can do for you,” Altick said. “The season is in the spring, and we’ve been practicing since the fall. We’ve played against teams with ten times as many students as us and we continually beat them because we have a bunch of committed guys.”

Coach Cox came out of retirement to see the team’s seniors through their final season.

“We had a bad ten minutes of play where things didn’t go our way, and that is how we lost,” Cox said. “The guys did a great job. I really feel that we have the ability to win a National Championship in the future.”

To the athletes, the rugby team feels like a second family. They not only practice together, but travel extensively to foreign countries and participate in fundraising and charity events. For instance, the men’s team spent Easter Sunday together at Ability First painting eggs with disabled children. Each spring the teams partake in the Buddy Walk to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

Women's Rugby Team
Women's Rugby Team

Pitzer senior and team president Alexandra Boskovich pointed out that belonging to the women’s rugby team has been a great way to expand her Pitzer experience.

Men's Rugby Team
The Claremont men's team captain is Pitzer senior Ryan Altick.

“I believe our team represents a fine balance of competition and camaraderie,” Boskovich said. “As a senior who has played for four years now, women's rugby has not only brought me closer to the 5-college community but also made my experience at Pitzer more diverse and rich. I am able to play with such a dedicated but social team. A motto we've come to embrace is “anybody is a good body for rugby" which I believe illustrates the openness of the sport.”

As anyone who has had the pleasure of attending or playing in a rugby game knows, the social aspect of the sport is a big one. While competition on the field is as tough as any, no hard-feelings linger after the game ends and the two teams socialize together, singing songs and often sharing a beer or two, and perhaps a few hamburgers.

The Pitzer players on the men’s team include: Ryan Altick ’06, Aaron Berman ’07, Allan Donohue ’07, Ivan Katz ’07, Andrew Kokesh ’07, Gus Porter ’06, Julian Burman ’09, and Robbie Block ’09. Pitzer players on the women’s team are: club president Alexandra Boskovich ’06, Jocelyn Matsuo ’06, Elaine Chen-Fernandez ’07, Elizabeth Brooks ’09, and Angelina Martinez ’09.

-Catherine Okereke ’00