The Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club came back from the Edmonton International Judo Tournament with an impressive medal haul.
In the two day event this past weekend, the club took home three first place trophies and eight bronze and silver medals. It wasn't a shabby performance, considering they were fighting competitors outside their usual provincial counterparts, who were fighting and defending in different styles than they're used to.
Picking up the new style quickly were younger competitors Taryn Montgomery and Brianna Walz, both cadet girls (born between 1997- 99) in the under 30 kg class, said Koseikan coach and competitor Jim Wiens.
"Other than when they fought each other, they went completely undefeated through the entire draw," said Wiens. Montgomery picked up the first place trophy while Walz won the silver.
"A lot of times when they go to tournaments in the province, they end up fighting the same athletes over and over again," Wiens said. "It was really neat for them to fight people they've never fought before.
You don't have a strategy when you go into it. You don't know how they fight, and you don't know their style."
First place trophies went to Braydon Johnson in the cadet boys (96- 97) over 42 kg class, and Devin Kiryk, cadet boys (98-99).
"(Kiryk) had five straight wins, and there was only one of them, the last one, where the guy ... made an actual fight out of it," Wiens said. "The other fights, he soundly beat his opponent."
Also among the youngsters winning medals at the tournament were Jessica Daly, who won bronze in the cadet girls (97-99) under 34 kg class, Samantha Trusty, who won a bronze in the cadet girls (97-99), under 30 kg class, Haley Walz, winner of a bronze medal in the cadet girls born (97-99), over 46 kg class, John Fellinger's silver medal in the cadet boys born (94-95) and under 38 kg class.
Wiens himself picked up a silver medal in the senior men brown/ black belt, over 100 kg class, and a bronze in the masters over 90 kg.
"This was the first time I ever fought somebody that wasn't from North America," said Wiens. "So to compete, and actually get the win in that fight, I impressed myself actually with it anyway."
Chad Griffin went through the juvenile men under 48 kgs class undefeated, until the final where he lost to someone he had beaten in the round robin.
Long-time coach and competitor Josh Wiens bowed out with an injury he sustained last week at the Koseikan tournament and reaggravated.
The next competition for the club is scheduled for March 31 in Saskatoon.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Mar 22, 2007