Dominique Fontenette

Dominique Fontenette, M05
© Richard Howard

Ultimately fun to win a national championship

We've all sent our share of Frisbees floating through the backyard on sultry summer days. Dominique Fontenette, M05, plays an altogether different game. Ultimate Frisbee, a little-known hybrid sport at which Fontenette excels, demands athleticism of an extreme sort.

A competitor should be agile, lightning-quick, with keen hand-eye coordination and superlative leaping ability. Fontenette counts it a boon that she grew up playing all kinds of sports—basketball, gymnastics, softball and tennis—in her hometown of Pine Bluff, Ark. Her combustible background prepared her for greatness in Ultimate Frisbee, which involves a seven-member team advancing the disc down a 100 yard-long field, taming the wind and opposition every inch of the way.

Fontenette, who goes by "Dom the Bomb," can zing the whirring disc 100 yards or more into a teammate's outstretched arms. Her aim is true. As captain of the Stanford University team, she led Stanford to the Ultimate national collegiate title in 1997. Two years later, her club team, the San Francisco Fury, won the Ultimate national club tournament. In summer 2001, she was picked for an elite coed squad representing the United States at the World Games in Akita, Japan, where Team USA took the silver.

In person, Fontenette doesn't much look or sound like a killer anything. But she's steely enough to squeeze in a tough regimen of conditioning and practice sessions with Lady Godiva, her Boston-based club team, amid the regular demands of medical school. When pressed, she coolly ranks herself among the top five players in the country. Then she laughs and backs away from the boldness of the statement, saying, "It's kinda like being number one in billiards."

Fontenette and Lady Godiva captured their ninth women's national championship—and third in a row—in Sarasota, Fla., this fall. The team edged out Fontenette's old squad, the San Francisco Fury, 17-16.