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Dark Star is a club Ultimate team from Eugene, Oregon. One of the oldest club Ultimate teams in existence, DarkStar's intensity was integral in piloting the tradition of Ultimate's perennially strong Northwest region.
Origin and glory years
DarkStar was founded in 1975 by a group of players from the University of Oregon. Under the steam of Ultimate legend Henry Callahan, DarkStar in its first decade became a major rival of the dynastic Santa Barbara Condors. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, club Nationals was attended by a champion from each of five regions in the US. This spot was usually fought for desperately between DarkStar, the Condors, and San Francisco's Flying Circus.
In 1980, DarkStar lost to the Condors in the finals of the World Flying Disc Championships, in front of eight CBS cameras. At Western Regional finals at the culmination of the season, DarkStar surprised Flying Circus in the semifinals and earned a chance to face their rivals, Santa Barbara, in the finals.
In 1980, DarkStar hosted a large, competitive tournament in Eugene: the 'Great Northwest Ultimate Classic' that later became known as Solstice, one of the longest-running tournaments still attended. On the agenda in 1980 was experimentation with games played to a certain number of points, instead of strictly a time cap as per the original rules. DarkStar lost in the finals of the 1980 tournament to the Flying Circus, who they would later beat in the Regional semifinal. To this day, the Northwest's premiere teams compete at Eugene's Summer Solstice every June.
Among the competition at the 2006 tourney, to be held June 17–18, are the national champions of the last six years: Vancouver's Furious George (2002, 2003, 2005), Seattle Sockeye (2004), and the Santa Barbara Condors (2000, 2001).
In the early 1990s, DarkStar was eclipsed by Portland's RhinoSlam!, who made two consecutive semifinal appearances at Nationals in 1992 and 1993. This corresponded with the University of Oregon's college Championship in '92. Since then, players from that college powerhouse have gravitated to Portland.
In 2003-2005, DarkStar enjoyed very close games at NW Regionals. In 2004, DarkStar nearly upset the Bay Area's JAM, who went on to compete in the finals of the national tournament.
The 2006 season, with its unprecedented low turnout combined with the creation of a local team named "Hippo", has led Darkstar to withdrawal from open competition. Instead, with the addition of 5 new women, Darkstar will be competing in the Mixed division for the UPA series, in one of its toughest sections.