Re-printed with the permission of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald
In Judo
Times-Herald Sports Reporter

The Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club has long been considered one of the best clubs in the province for producing talented judoka.

Once again they have the trophy to prove it.

The Koseikan Club hosted the Judo Sask Cadet/Juvenile provincial championships and the Senior Open tournament Saturday at 15 Wing. After losing the team title to Watrous last year, the Koseikan won it back this year. They've won the title four of the last five years.

"It was very nice to win back the team trophy," said Koseikan instructor Jim Wiens. "The benefit of being the host club is that you have a lot numbers, but the trophy is based on points from wins and medal counts. So it was nice to see that the kids improved that much from last year to win the trophy back."

It was a successful weekend for a lot of young judoka at the provincial tournament. Devin Kiryk (under-23 kilograms) and John Fellinger (under-28 kg) won their Cadet boys class. Connor MacDonald (under-55/60 kg) and Michael Herbert (under-66/73 kg) won their Juvenile men divisions.

In the senior men, Chris Storozuk (under-81 kg), Cory North (under- 100 kg) and Josh Wiens (over-100 kg) each won their classes.

"Our smaller age groups did very well Saturday," said Wiens. "For a lot of our younger guys it was their first tournament. It was nice to see that what they've been practicing since September put into practical experience.

"Devin Kiryk won and it was his first tournament," added Wiens. "He's got some experience as a wrestler, but it's a little different style and he did well."

Fellinger had to win four matches Saturday to win the Cadet Under- 28 kg class.

The event also had a Canada Games qualifying tournament attached to it. The top judoka eligible for the 2007 Winter Games competed to try to earn a spot on the provincial team. It's one of 10 tournaments held over two years to pick the team. There are six tournaments left.

"It's not the be-all and end-all yet," said Wiens. "It's the second year of doing it and we're well into the year. Connor MacDonald and Michael Herbert both had a really good tournament. Their performance in the Canada Games qualifying helped themselves for their goal of making the Canada Games team in 2007."

While Herbert won his combined Under-73/81 kg class, MacDonald was third in the Under-60/66 kg combined. That however is a little misleading, as MacDonald was the top Under-60 kg judoka and finished behind two heavier competitors.

"They combined the class and brought down two heavyweights to the Under-60," said Wiens.

Amy Hughes and Carlie Orr have both been selected to represent their province this coming weekend at the Balmoral Open in Winnipeg. It is the first time either Cadet judoka has been selected for a provincial team.

The following weekend, the Koseikan Club is off to the Saskatoon for the annual YMCA meet.

Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Mar. 21, 2006

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