Pritzker Intramurals Take Aim at Phoenix Cup

By Molly Mumphrey, MD, NBCDCHPS*

When Davy Hamilton, MS4 began the medical school intramural sports recruiting process, University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine was not at the top of his list.

“Honestly, I had gone on four of the five recruiting trips permitted through the AAMC and was feeling pretty good about the places I had seen. Pritzker kept calling, though, so I figured I might as well use up that last trip to go enjoy some deep dish pizza and get a selfie at the Bean before heading off to greener pastures.”

Hamilton arrived to campus early on a crisp fall day in October 2012 and was waiting outside the lecture halls in the Biological Sciences Learning Center for a meeting with Associate Dean of Students Jim Woodruff, MD that was to be the official start of his recruiting weekend. As he sat there on the smooth faux leather couches, students from the first and second-year classes began emerging for a break between lectures. It was at that moment that something struck Hamilton.

“Raw athleticism. I had never seen so many sculpted frames in one place in my entire life. My feelings about Pritzker changed immediately at that moment.”

Pritzker’s Intramural Co-ed basketball team
Pritzker’s Intramural Coed basketball team

Fast-forward four years and Hamilton has teamed up with less athletic, though equally enthusiastic classmate Chris Mattson, MS4. The two are hot prospects for the upcoming NRMP Match in internal medicine and pediatrics, respectively that will take place on March 17, 2017. However, more importantly, they also currently find themselves at the helm of what can best be described as a University of Chicago Graduate School Intramural Sports juggernaut. Though the tradition of intramural greatness did not exist during Hamilton’s recruitment, he took a chance on potential. To say that chance has paid off would be an understatement.

“We spent much of my first three years here trying to figure out our system. There were flashes of brilliance, such as the upset victory over the Law School in the flag football championship my second year. But we were always still a step or two away from competing for the Phoenix Cup, which is obviously always the ultimate goal. There has been a really different buzz around campus this year though.”

Pritzker student and faculty swimmers at the Intramural Swim Meet in March
Pritzker student and faculty swimmers at the Intramural Swim Meet in March

The Phoenix Cup, University of Chicago’s Graduate School All Intramural Championship, has been won by the Law School every year since its inception in the mid-2000s. However, Pritzker got a hot influx of recruits with the addition of the class of 2020 and, as their talents have combined with the experience and leadership of the upperclassmen, the trophy appears primed to change hands for the first time in its history. Bolstered by a tournament championship in coed volleyball, a regular-season championship in men’s flag football, and championships in women’s tennis and mixed doubles tennis, Pritzker jumped out to an early 880-405 point lead over the Law School after the Fall Quarter. Though points are still up for grabs in the Winter Quarter, the potential for an increase in this lead seems high following a fresh coed basketball championship as well as runner-up finishes for the men’s and women’s swim team, a championship appearance for men’s basketball and semi-final appearances for men’s and coed soccer. Point projections for euchre, spades, chess, hearts, singles ping-pong, doubles ping-pong and men’s and coed wallyball were not available at press time. All in all, the season has gone so well that, according to Mattson, there are now whispers around the BSLC about some even bigger goals.

“This year has really been as good as we could have hoped for, the sort of thing every little girl and boy dreams about growing up. I definitely don’t want to jinx anything, but think with the way things are going, beating both the law school AND the all-time Phoenix Cup points record is not out of the question…”

Regardless of how the rest of the year goes, it safe to say that Hamilton and Mattson will be leaving Pritzker Intramural Sports in a better place than they found them.


*Chris Mattson, MS4 and Davy Hamilton, MS4