Judo Club competes at Eastern Open
The "Rankin Dragons" Judo Club traveled to Baltimore September 1 and entered into the Eastern Open Judo Championships for their very first competition.
"Because it was the Eastern Open with teams from several states up and down the East Coast, this would not have been my first choice for the club's initial competition," states Coach Ron Tebben. "But the team members were itching for a chance to compete. Going in to the tournament, due to the quality of the competition we were about to face, I never expected anyone to earn any medals."
Coach Tebben's fears were unjustified, however, as all of the seven club members who entered were very competitive, with three of the seven earning medals. As an example of the level of competition: because of the seeding in his bracket, Robert Berens' very first match put him up against a much more experienced Brown Belt who had been a contender at the 2005 and 2007 Junior Nationals. For two of the three minutes into the match, Berens fought even with his higher ranked opponent until finally the more experienced judo-ka was able to prevail. Berens came back to win the third place medal in his division.
Club newcomer John Mundey earned a second place medal in his division even though he had been practicing Judo for only a few short weeks.
And in the women's division, Allissa Duvall, utilizing her very effective O-soto-gari throw, was able to capture a third place medal as well.
Other club members who competed were Haleigh Fields, Jensen Harris, Barry Michael and John Lockhart. The club plans to enter more tournaments in the near future. For information about the club, call 258-5555 or 258-4108.