The few might have come close to prevailing in 300, but the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club wasn't about to let that happen in their own backyard this past weekend.
The local club put together a decisive victory in the battle for the Judo Saskatchewan Cadet and Juvenile provincial team trophy Saturday at 15 Wing, using their superior numbers and a series of impressive wins to claim the title by more than 100 points over their closest rivals.
Moose Jaw finished first overall with 224 points, while the Watrous Ju-no-ri Judo Club took second spot with 95 and Regina YMCA third at 68.
"The fact we have the biggest club in the province, we dominate that so much, at least we did this year," said Koseikan instructor Jim Wiens, who was recently promoted to second-degree black belt. "It's something we take pride in and it's always a nice honour."
While numerical superiority certainly helped, the club's series of strong performances were the key as they took the overall title in nine divisions and finished in the medals in 16.
Among the most impressive showings was that of longtime Koseikan competitor Garth Rivers, who became the first ever Moose Jaw fighter to win the Senior Open tournament held by the local club every year.
It wasn't an easy draw, either, as the 68-kg former national junior medalist had to defeat 111-kg competitor Don Suther of Prince Albert twice in order to take the title. Suther had earlier finished second to Koseikan instructor Josh Wiens in the senior men's over-100 kg class, where Jim Wiens finished third.
"He armlocked him once and threw him once, so that's pretty impressive," Wiens said of Rivers' performance. "To beat him once on the ground and to beat him once through the air was pretty nice to see, especially since I had so much trouble with him our division."
Wiens also had plenty of praise for Senior men's under-81 kg competitor Shane Kivol, who won four straight to take the title in his weight class in addition to finishing third in the Open - all as a yellow belt.
"He's had a great season, he's gone through a lot of different tournaments winning a lot of fights," Wiens said. "He had a rough tournament in Swift Current a few weeks ago, but he was fighting a lot of higher class athletes. This time everyone was about the same level of ability and time in judo, so that shows what he can do."
Cadet boys competitor Brock Pearson had one of the tournament's deeper draws in the under-42 kg division and still rolled through undefeated with four straight victories.
"There was a pretty good sized group and he pretty much went right through everybody," Wiens said of the class, which had eight fighters from throughout the province and Manitoba.
Brady Smith (Cadet boys u-23 kg), Brianna Walz (Cadet girls u-30 kg), Eryn Langdon (Cadet girls u-34 kg), Amy Hughes (Cadet girls u- 30 kg) and Jamie Rae Hanson (Senior women) also won their respective titles.
See Page B3 for a complete list of medal winners and Moose Jaw finishes.
Click here for full results.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Mar 13, 2007