Nellie Joselyn missed the competitiveness that she thrived on during the soccer and softball seasons at Mount Si High. She learned how to be a leader along with honing her athletic skills as a Wildcat. And she was looking for more.
Enter the sport of ultimate, which is played with a disc, and points are scored when a team catches the flying object in its opponent’s end zone.
During her freshman year at Western Washington University in 2016, she gave the sport a whirl and the 20-year-old has been a fixture on the Division 1 club ultimate scene since then.
“The sport provided a place to have a good time, be challenged physically and develop relationships with an amazing strong and motivated group of women,” said Joselyn on playing cutter with the WWU Chaos squad. “The best part by far is the support and friendships you gain through being part of Chaos. Off of the field, our team is dedicated to pushing conversations of race and classism within the sport of ultimate and society at large. It is incredible to be a part of.”
Chaos took its game to the highest Division 1 stage and finished 13th at the recent Ultimate Frisbee National Finals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team entered nationals ranked 14th of 20 teams with the third seed out of the NW Division.
Joselyn feels the team was a bit nervous and didn’t perform at its peak in its first games, but unleashed its talent and cohesiveness to the maximum in its last game of the high-pressure tournament with a 15-5 win over Florida.
“We learned a lot while being there, but my biggest take away was that we can compete with any team in the nation and that we deserved to be there,” she said. “I love this team and cannot imagine what college would be without my team and this sport in my life.”
As a goalkeeper on the Mount Si soccer team, Joselyn tallied the most Wildcats shutouts in a season with 10 as a junior. She started at keeper for three seasons and captained both her soccer and softball squads.
“I was lucky enough to have some incredible captains when I was an underclassman and I got to learn a lot from them,” said Joselyn, noting that she’ll captain the Chaos in the fall and is excited to continue growing in the sport and as a leader.
Another part of Mount Si life that gave her a boost was speaking at graduation as her class salutatorian. The main thread of her speech was being kind and she added for this story: “This is what I am known for and what I find most important in life. I believe there is no excuse to be unkind towards others. It really is that simple in my eyes.”
Currently, Joselyn is spending the summer in Iceland while studying renewable energy, technology and resource economics through the School for International Training. She and her classmates take courses, work on individual research projects and travel around the country visiting different geothermal and hydropower plants.
“So far the highlight of the trip was watching the midnight sun from Bolungarvík, which is a large mountain cliff overlooking the sea to the north,” she said via email (along with all other information for this story).
Since WWU doesn’t have an architecture program, she designed her own major and is pursuing a degree in energy science and sustainability with an emphasis in computer science and a minor in sustainable design.
“From a very young age, I wanted to be an architect but as I got older I realized that our current model for construction was not sustainable. I first got interested in renewable energy in my senior year of high school in my AP environmental science class. It fascinated me,” she said.