Just like many ultimate frisbee players, Ciera Kueser (Orr) never planned on picking up the sport. Ciera grew up in South Jordan, UT. Since age three she was obsessed with the water and essentially lived in it ever since. She spent her time training and swimming with high school and club swim teams.
Through her eight years of competitive swimming, Ciera was exposed to Ultimate during her off-season training. Her high school and club swim teams would play pick-up Ultimate for conditioning.
After her high school swimming career came to an end, Ciera joined the newly-formed Bingham High co-ed Ultimate frisbee team. She headed the creation of the first-ever Bingham High women’s Ultimate team.
Ciera played with Bingham’s team for fun but had her sights set on swimming in college. After graduating high school, Ciera looked into multiple colligate swim teams. She ended up at BYU.
After much deliberation and thought, Ciera decided to pursue her education over swimming.
“I already knew how to swim,” Ciera said. “I didn’t know how to study. I didn’t know how to be anyone but a swimmer. I knew I needed to use my time at BYU to learn and develop skills I hadn’t had the chance to acquire yet. It was a hard decision to make. I didn’t want to give up swimming, but I knew it was the right thing to do.”
During freshman orientation, Ciera saw a group of students playing pick-up Ultimate and joined the group.
Ciera found the women’s team on campus and began practicing with them only a few weeks later.
Since then, she has spent her five years at BYU learning and loving the sport.
“Higher-level Ultimate was a new experience for me. I was lucky to know the general forehand and backhand throw from high school but having plays and stacks and strategy was foreign to me. I wouldn’t have learned it all if it wasn’t for my patient coaches and teammates,” Ciera said.
Through the years, Ciera has become a dominant force on the defensive line for the CHI women. She also spent three summers playing and training with Elevate—a club women’s Ultimate team in Utah. Ciera enjoyed learning even more about the sport.
“Elevate pushed me to a whole other level. I realized how little I actually knew about Ultimate and the strategy behind it,” Ciera said. “I would walk away from every practice completely mind-blown.”
Ciera said her training with Elevate has helped her play a role on the CHI women’s team.
“I am so grateful to have learned so much with both of these teams. The ladies are incredible athletes and some of my best friends. I am so glad I chose to try out this sport so many years ago,” Ciera said. “I am also grateful to be captaining this year for the CHI women’s team. I hope I can help newer players see how much fun Ultimate can be!”
The upcoming season is Ciera’s last. She will graduate in April with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration.