Re-printed with the permission of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald
Griffin leads way as judo wins in Prince Albert
By MATTHEW GOURLIE
Most members of the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club capped a successful season in Prince Albert this past weekend.

But not double-gold medal winner Chad Griffin. The 15-year-old had a season that was so good he earned the right to prolong it. Griffin has been named one of the 14 members of the provincial team for the junior nationals in Toronto in July.

"I'm picking him for a medal at the nationals," said Koseikan instructor Cliff Wiens.

"He's had a few bad tournaments, but he's been dominant at some others. We worked through those two tournaments and now it looks like he's back on track to be at his peak."

Griffin won his own under-51 kilogram juvenile weight class in Prince Albert and then won a combined junior and senior class in the under-55 kg category.

"He did the same thing in Winnipeg," said Wiens. "I think he's going to follow in Garth (Rivers) and Jeremy (Williams) footsteps at the podium at nationals. He has that same drive."

While the younger competitors will have a couple more weeks of training before taking the summer off, Griffin and some of the adults will be busy staying sharp in the off-season.

If this past weekend was the end of the competitive season for some, they made sure they went out on a high note.

Chris Hodgson also won a senior men's division, while Rebecca Hanson and Eryn Langdon were one-two in their junior women's class. In their cadet girls age group, however, Langdon beat Hanson to earn gold.

Haley Walz and Peyton Barnie also won cadet girls gold.

"I was very pleased with them and very proud," said Wiens of their performance. "When they handed out the awards they sure knew Moose Jaw was there."

The judo season will officially come to a close when Judo Saskatchewan has its awards banquet Apr. 26 in Swift Current. The Koseikan is once again nominated for club of the year.

"We have four great coaches who make sure all of the kids get equal time," said Wiens. "We have a close-knit group and they work well together."

Griffin (Juvenile Male athlete of the year), Haley Walz (Cadet Female athlete of the year) and Jim Wiens (Masters athlete of the year) have all been nominated for individual awards.

The Koseikan club will hold their club awards night May 9.

Tournament Results:

Cadet boys U-23 kg - 1. Brett Stich.

Cadet boys U-26 kg - 3. Anakin Myers, 5. Zachary German.

Cadet girls U-23 kg - 1. Peyton Barnie, 3. Ashley German.

Cadet girls U-30 kg - 2. Brianna Walz.

Cadet girls U-38 kg - 1. Eryn Langdon, 2. Rebecca Hanson, 3. Madelaine Stich, 5. Darian Barnie.

Cadet girls O-48 kg - 1. Haley Walz.

Juvenile men U-51 kg - 1. Chad Griffin, 3. Adam Langdon.

Juvenile women U-63 kg - 4. Haley Walz.

Junior women U-41 kg - 1. Rebecca Hanson, 2. Eryn Langdon.

Senior men U-55 kg - 1. Chad Griffin.

Senior men O-90 kg - 1. Chris Hodgson.

Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald April 17, 2008

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