This past Saturday was Colby Woodsmen’s annual Mud Meet, during which the team hosted the meet on its home turf (or in this case, field). In attendance this year were two teams from the University of Vermont, two teams from Dartmouth College, and four teams from the College, including one alumni team.
The event, which took place on the Woodsmen Field, went off without a hitch.
“It was really perfect,” Rachel Hatheway `24 said. “The weather was gorgeous, which really makes a difference. There was a great vibe, we had music over the loudspeakers pretty much all day, and a huge pot of chili for lunch. What could be better?”
Along with those competing, there were also spectators, student-timers, and families who traveled to campus to watch the meet.
Renee Montweiler `26 had her entire family come to see the event.
“My whole family is coming up to see the Mud Meet. I’m excited to have them at Colby, especially on the field. This is a great opportunity to show them my world,” she said.
Montweiler joined Woodsmen earlier in the year.
“I heard about Woodsmen through the Clubs Fair. I saw the demo they were doing, and I thought it looked really cool. I went to one of the practices just to check it out and really wanted to try it. I ended up loving it, and now I go every day. I’ve never looked back,” she said.
Men’s team captains Alex Martel `23 and Mattias Carballo `23 met in their orientation group as first-years and joined the team together.
“I was looking for something to fill the gap that high school sports left,” Martel said.
“I had heard about Woodsmen when I was visiting Colby, and it sounded really cool. I had a lot of injuries from playing rugby, so this is a nice no-contact sport,” Carballo said.
Carballo is not the only person on Woodsmen who joined because of its different requirements for athleticism.
Woodsmen allows Anooshka Sethi `25 to feel empowered.
“I joined because of my COOT mom but stayed because I was learning how to be strong in a different way. I am not very physically big, but it’s nice to know that I can cut through something or see something a lot bigger than I am. It’s a good way to get emotions out and feel present in my body,” Sethi said.
Lily Craig `24 originally was not serious when she joined the team but ended up staying because of the environment.
“I am a very non-athletic person, so I joined Woodsmen as a joke originally. I ended up really liking the community and they wanted me to have fun and learn how to do things without a lot of pressure. It’s just such a good environment where everyone fits in,” she said.
She pointed out that Woodsmen not only lets her feel strong but does so while surrounded by other women.
“I love the team camaraderie that we have. I am so proud to be part of a group of strong women, doing something different and non-normative. It has been such an empowering experience to be part of this team, and that speaks to how accepting the Woodsmen team is. Even though we want to be competitive and win, at the end of the day, everyone cares more about this team and everyone’s well-being and happiness. This team is all about community, and we have a great one.”
Nick von Schnell `24 echoed Craig’s point that while Woodsmen is a team, it is more important to them that they are a community.
“The way things work around here is just different. Yes, we’re a club team, but there are a lot of things outside of Woodsmen events that make our group feel like a community rather than a team. We have movie nights and dinners, and sometimes we just hang out in the cabin. Small things like that make this feel like we’re part of something bigger than just events.”
Montweiler agreed with von Schnell.
“My favorite part is how close the team is. I can go to anyone on the team for anything. I love our team dinners when we’ve crammed around too few tables and events when we’re all piled on top of each other. It’s just a great group,” she said.
Mud Meet is a great opportunity for this community to thrive. Not only does it allow for the College community to see what Woodsmen really do, but it allows for alumni to return and stay connected to the community that is so important to so many on this campus.
“I’m excited for Mud Meet because of the alumni who come. It’s a great time to see old friends. I made friends with seniors when I was a freshman, so now I get to see them again. Plus, I get to meet people who I’ve heard about but graduated before I came,” von Schnell said.
“There was a whole alumni team this year, which was really fun,” Hatheway said. “There were so many alumni who came to either compete or just hang out with us. It was really cool to see Woodsmen legends come back and do these events with us. It was all really silly.”
The College’s A-team took home ten first-place trophies in various events, which bodes well for the future.
“We won overall, which was awesome. We are very excited because our success is an indication of how we’ll do in a couple of weeks at Spring Meet, a much bigger meet,” Hatheway said.
The Woodsman team proves not just a force to be reckoned with on the field but also one of the strongest communities on the College campus.
~ Mairead Levitt `25