The Campbell River Judo Club sent 32 competitors to Nanaimo for the final tournament of the Vancouver Island Series April 11. As always, the athletes fought extremely hard; leading nearly everyone to medal performances.
One of the highlights of the tournament for CRJC were the Sanzana sisters, Makayla and Dakota, dominating their respective divisions and beating both boys and girls to earn themselves gold medals.
Madison Puglas fought very hard in two close matches, in one throwing her opponent from her knees so hard he bounced off the mats.
Kevin Hinchliffe, in his first tournament, rebounded from an early loss to win his next two matches and earn a silver medal.
Greg Thompson, a newcomer to judo with less than a year under his yellow belt, looked very good fighting in a division of much more experienced green belts (two belt levels above his) proving to be very difficult to throw and taking them all deep into match time.
Jacob Doherty had a breakout tournament and had one of the throws of the day leading to a gold medal.
The CRJC’s competitive teenagers along with other island teens participated in the tournament as well by taking over the refereeing duties for the day and did an excellent job making their instructors very proud.
The following weekend, 12 members traveled to the BC Open in Vernon. The kata team of Senseis Darcy Yule and Chris Petersen started a gold rush (a total of 10 gold medals) Friday night, earning first place each in Katame no kata and Goshin jitsu kata. Double gold medals were also won by Tommy Pfeifer and Haley Henry, who each fought in two divisions. Tyson Hicks, Jake Misky and Senseis Bob Smythe and Bruce Henry all went undefeated to round out the gold medal performances.
Senseis Chris Petersen and David Crowhurst fought hard in their divisions each getting fourth-place finishes. Junior competitors Abbigail and Olivia Sheehan and Jacob Hicks showed lots of improvement utilizing their techniques and earned bronze, silver and fourth place respectively.
Five teenage competitors — Anthony and Haley Henry, Kelsey Painter, Jake Misky and Wyatt Huggins — will continue to train and represent the CRJC at the Canadian Nationals in Quebec in May. The Henry siblings will also go on to represent B.C. at the Western Canadians in Alberta in August.