Meet Amita “Pesto” Stowitts, Captain of UCSD’s Ultimate Frisbee B Team


Image by Allen Chen for The UCSD Guardian

Sanaya Vakharia, Sports Associate Editor

Below is an interview with Amita “Pesto” Stowitts, an Eleanor Roosevelt College senior. She gives The UCSD Guardian insight into the life of a student athlete, specifically one who is on the ultimate frisbee B team. Her experience is a testament to the positive culture she has experienced in her time with the team, and the effort it takes to be a student and competitive athlete. Follow the team as they compete in regionals and beyond!


Q: Can you start by introducing yourself?

A: My name is Amita. I’m a fourth-year environmental systems major in ERC and I also have a minor in computer science. I started playing ultimate frisbee last year in November. 


Q: How do you manage a major and a minor with ultimate frisbee?

A: I kind of do a lot of picking and choosing sometimes. I have to think of going to practice as another class so it’s like I have these things in my schedule, everything I need to work around is like going to class, going to practice. Sometimes, at tournaments you want to do something fun but you need to do your homework. Basically, for me, it’s doing work at times when you wouldn’t expect to.   


Q: What do you mean by picking and choosing?

A: Right now I’m the captain, so I try to go to practice as much as I can, but I know that definitely a lot of students on the team are super busy so sometimes it’s totally fine for them to skip a few practices. We have so many tournaments which are usually close to each other, week after week, so a lot of people choose to attend one but skip the next. It’s fine because we have so many players.


Q: How does it feel like being the captain? 

A: It’s a lot of fun. Enjoy getting to see people grow and develop and having at least a little part in it.

When I joined, people on the team were such a great resource for me to learn from. It’s nice to be able to give back.


Q: Tell us more about the A Team and B Team.

A: A team is our most competitive team, they’ve historically been really great. In 2019, they won nationals as the best ultimate frisbee team in the nation! They practice normally twice a week and on Sunday. That’s the team with a more competitive environment and more time commitment. The B team is for when you either don’t make the A team or are looking for something more chill. We still go to tournaments, but it’s definitely more chill.


Q: I’ve heard that ultimate frisbee is not NCAA D1 but it’s almost as good as one when it comes to time commitment and competition.

A: It’s definitely something a lot of us talk about. They’ve also been trying to get into the Olympics for a long time. It’s been established for long enough that it could be D1. The A team athletes are putting in the same amount of work as D1 athletes and are definitely getting results too. Another part of it is that ultimate frisbee is self-officiated which means you make all your own calls and there’s no referee. That’s probably the reason why they cannot put it in D1. We still have a few minds to change I guess, but hopefully soon!


Q: Ultimate frisbee is such a niche sport. How does it feel being so good at such a niche thing? 

A: It’s a really great conversation starter. Everyone I talk to and tell I play ultimate frisbee, they’re either like “oh wow I didn’t even know that was a thing” or like “oh I’ve played that a couple times and it’s so fun.” Most of our team are players who haven’t played before. They come from a different sport. I played soccer for a very long time and then switched over. There’s a lot of soccer people, volleyball people, and basketball people. It’s an interesting sport because it combines different aspects from different sports. Different talents and skills all combining into a melting pot.


Q: Can you explain how the game works?

A: Each team has seven players on the field. One side will throw the disc to the other start of the point and whoever receives the disc is the side on offense. If you’re on offense, you try to catch the disc in the end zone, but if you are holding the disc, you cannot run with it. You have to throw it to your teammates and if it hits the ground or the other team intercepts, it’s a turnover and now the other team is on offense trying to get to the end zone.


Q:  Is there a favorite memory you have with ultimate frisbee?

A: A lot of good ones this past weekend actually. We went to B team sectionals and played all the B teams and took first place! So we will be going along with our A team to regionals this weekend. This is our sixth year winning B team sectionals, so that’s been really fun!


Q: You said this weekend? How do you plan on managing that with your midterms?

A: It’s going to be interesting because I have a midterm on Monday and Tuesday. So definitely doing a lot of studying before we leave and in our hotel room after games. Even though we’re doing homework at a tournament, it’s like a bonding activity because we are all in the same boat. 


Q: Do you have any traditions as a team?

A: We have this thing called “Spirit of the Game” which means play with good sportsmanship. It’s the number one rule. Before every game and at halftime, we pick a cheer to do and we have a bunch of cheers. We also do sideline cheers. That’s a big thing. You’ll have half your team go to one sideline and also at the end of the game, if time permits, we get with the other team and we cheer for them. Just kind of saying good game. People have sung songs that are like parodies with team names. This definitely is my favorite part of the game. It’s so nice how you can be so competitive but still have so much fun. It’s just a really nice atmosphere.


Q: How did you get into ultimate frisbee?

A: So I used to play soccer throughout high school and hence, freshman year I tried out for the UC San Diego club soccer team. There were a lot of people trying out and we got cut on the last day so we made an intramural team and had a good time and then the pandemic hit. Starting my third year, I found an outside of school league but it was difficult to keep up because it was off-campus. Then, I found a flier for the club lacrosse team which said no experience required so I’m like sure why not? I went there on the first day and met one of my friends now, but back then I didn’t know her. We were talking and getting along but she stopped coming and I’m like oh where did she go? She came back to return the equipment she borrowed and told me she joined ultimate frisbee and asked me to come to the practices. Lacrosse was on Monday and Wednesday, and frisbee was on Tuesday and Thursday, so I was like sure I’ll do both.  That’s how I started going to frisbee. I didn’t try out for lacrosse and just stuck to frisbee. 


Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I’m going to be doing the BS/MS program with Scripps so I’ll be staying here for a fifth year and getting my masters, and I also plan on playing frisbee for another year!