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May 21 Athlete Highlights of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo

May 21, 2008, 10:09 p.m. (ET)

By Nicole Jomantas // USA Judo // May 16, 2008

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - With less than a month remaining until the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo, 112 athletes will be competing to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete for gold in Beijing.

This year's event will be held for the first time simultaneously with the Trials for USA Wrestling at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas and is expected to be one of the most exciting sporting events in the United States as athletes fight to win one of as many as 14 weight divisions in judo and 18 Olympic wrestling weight classes in the three Olympic styles (men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman, women's freestyle).

Trials will be held on June 13-14 for both wrestling and judo and June 15 for the remaining divisions in wrestling.

For details on how to request a media credential or purchase tickets, visit www.usajudolasvegas.com.

The following is the daily schedule of judo and wrestling divisions:

Friday June 13
Women's Judo: 52kg*, 63kg*, 70kg
Men's Judo: 66kg, 90kg, 100kg, +100kg
Women's Freestyle Wrestling: 48kg, 55kg, 63kg, 72kg
Men's Greco-Roman Wrestling: 55kg and 60kg*

Saturday June 14
Women's Judo: 48kg, 57kg, 78kg*, +78kg*
Men's Judo: 60kg, 73kg, 81kg
Men's Freestyle Wrestling: 55kg, 60kg, 66kg
Men's Greco-Roman Wrestling: 66kg, 74kg, 84kg

Sunday June 15
Men's Greco-Roman Wrestling: 96kg, 120kg
Men's Freestyle Wrestling: 74kg, 84kg, 96kg, 120kg

Preliminary competition begins daily at 10 a.m. Finals begin at 5 p.m.

* As of May 15, the United States has not qualified athletes to compete in these divisions at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling and Judo.

Highlights of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo ... By The Numbers

  • 112: Maximum number of judo players eligible to participate in the Trials.
  • 2: Number of World medalists.
Athens Olympian Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 70kg) became the first U.S. woman to win a world medal since 1995 when she placed second at the 2007 World Championships.

Brian Olson (Boulder, Colo. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 90kg) won bronze at the 1997 World Championships. Olson retired after his third Olympic Games in 2004, but returned in 2007 in his quest for an Olympic medal.

  • 17: Number of athletes from the USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University
San Jose State has had one of the most successful judo programs in the nation since judo was introduced as an Olympic sport for the first time in 1964. This year, SJSU has more athletes competing at the Trials than any other program in the country.

Among the SJSU players competing will be Marti Malloy and Chuck Jefferson. Malloy is eligible to compete in either the 63kg division where she was the 2007 National Champion and a ninth-place finisher at the Worlds or the 57kg division which she won at the Senior Nationals in April. Jefferson, a two-time Pan American Champion, is both a coach and a player at SJSU and medaled on the World Cup circuit, but is looking to qualify for his first Olympic Team. Michael Barnes (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University), a 2004 Olympic Team alternate in the 100kg division, came out of retirement at the Nationals for his first major event since 2004 and will enter as the #6 seed after placing second at the Nationals.

The Bay area will be well-represented at the Trials as at least six other athletes from the region will be competing at the Trials as well.

  • 13: Age of the youngest competitor in the Trials.
Thirteen-year-old Mindy Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri) qualified in the 52kg division after placing third at her first Senior Nationals in April. Chow's older sister Chrissy (15) also qualified after winning the other bronze medal in the 52kg division while brother Daniel (17) will be competing in the 66kg division after placing fifth at the Nationals. The Chows are coached by their father Dr. Greg Chow. Mother Robin (Chapman) Chow was a two-time National Champion as well.

  • 54: Age of the oldest competitor in the Trials.
James "Brewster" Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University), a professional entertainer, who is billed as the "world's strongest jump roper," was a member of the 1975 World Team who began competing again in the +100kg division last fall and went on to place fifth at the 2007 U.S. Open. When not competing, Thompson has appeared on both David Letterman and Arsenio Hall.

  • 6: Number of Olympians returning to compete in the Trials
Taraje Williams-Murray (Bronx, N.Y. / NYAC / Spartak Sports Club / 60kg) - The #1 player in the 60kg division, Athens Olympian Williams-Murray placed ninth at the 2005 Worlds and won a bronze medal at the Pan Ams in Miami last week.

Rick Hawn (Wakefield, Mass. / USA National Team FORCE / 90kg) - A bronze medalist at the 2007 Pan Am Games, Hawn was an 81kg player at the 2004 Games who moved up to the heavier weight where he is ranked #2 going into the Trials.

Brian Olson (Boulder, Colo. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 90kg) - A veteran with three Olympic Teams and a 1997 World medal to his credit, Olson is looking to improve on his seventh place finish at the 2000 Games.

Valerie Gotay (Harlingen, Texas / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen / 57kg) - Ranked as one of the top six players in the world in 2007, Gotay retired after qualifying for the 1992 Olympic Games as a 17-year-old in the 48kg division. Gotay says she came back in 2004 as a "personal dare." After being named an alternate to the 2004 Team, Gotay hasn't lost to an American since and has gone on to place in both World Cup events as well as win Pan Am titles in 2005 and 2007.

Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 70kg) - The youngest competitor in the entire judo competition at the 2004 Games, Rousey is 21-years-old and one of the top candidates to become the first U.S. player to win Olympic gold.

Nikki Kubes (Fort Worth, Texas / Fort Worth Judo / 78kg) - Like Rousey, Kubes was just 17-years-old at the 2004 Games. After taking a year and a half off from competition, Kubes returned to win the 2006 Senior Nationals, but blew out her knee a month later at the Pan American Championships. She returned to competition at the 2007 Nationals where she placed third and is hoping for her second Olympics.

  • 54: Number of athletes who train at one of six USA Judo National Training Sites

Of the 14 Olympic weight divisions, 11 of the #1-ranked athletes train at National Training Sites including:

Taraje Williams-Murray (Bronx, N.Y. / NYAC / Spartak Sports Club / 60kg), 2008 Pan Am Championships bronze medalist

Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 66kg), 2008 Pan Am Championships fifth-place finisher

Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 73kg), 2007 Pan Am Games Champion

Travis Stevens (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 81kg), 2008 Pan Am Championships silver medalist

Adler Volmar (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami / 100kg), 1996 Olympian for Haiti and 2007 Pan Am Championships bronze medalist in the Open division

Anthony Turner (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami / +100kg), 2007 U.S. Open bronze medalist

Anna Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / 52kg), 2007 U.S. Open silver medalist

Valerie Gotay (Harlingen, Texas / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen / 57kg), 1992 Olympian and 2008 Pan Am Champion

Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University / 63kg), Ninth-place finisher at 2007 World Championships

Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 70kg), 2004 Olympian and 2007 World silver medalist

Katie Mocco (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 78kg)

  • 8: Number of athletes qualified to compete at the Trials in multiple divisions.
Although athletes must qualify in a certain division to compete at the Trials, eight players ranked high enough through their domestic and international results to have a decision regarding which weight to compete in by May 16.

Josh O'Neil (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) - A former top 66kg player, O'Neil moved down to 60kg in August where he placed fifth at the German Open - a World Championships tune-up event. O'Neil's performance at that event earned him a #4 ranking as a 60kg player, but his bronze medal finish in the 66kg division at the Senior Nationals in April means O'Neil could come in as the #6 player in the heavier division. Although he hasn't fought 60kg since September, O'Neil has beaten two of the top three players in the division and is expected to move back down to 60kg where he could provide a semifinal challenge for Williams-Murray.

Ann Shiraishi (San Francisco, Calif. / East Bay Judo Institute) - The #3 seed in the 48kg division, Shiraishi fought up to 52kg at Nationals where she won her first gold medal and a #4 ranking. As the United States is not qualified to compete in Beijing in the 52kg division, Shiraishi is expected to fight at 48kg.

Anna Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) - The #1-ranked 52kg player, Palmer also moved up at the Senior Nationals where she won a bronze medal and #4 ranking in the 57kg division. Palmer is expected to fight 57kg in Vegas where she could face top-ranked Gotay in the semifinals.

Hannah Martin (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) - A 2006 Junior World Team member in the 57kg division, Martin locked in her #3 ranking when she won bronze at the 2007 Finnish Open. As a strategic move, Martin fought up to 63kg at the Nationals where she placed third and is now ranked #6. As 63kg isn't qualified for the Games, Martin will likely compete in the 57kg division, but the move down would put her on the same side of the bracket as her NYAC and JMJC teammate Carrie Chandler, a five-time National Champion who is ranked #2.

Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University) - Malloy moved up from 57kg to 63kg in 2007 and had success with a ninth place finish at the Worlds, but fell two matches short of qualifying the division for the United States at the Pan Am Championships in Miami last weekend. One of Gotay's most consistent threats during her years as a 57kg player, a move back down to the weight where she won the National title this year would mean a first-round match between Malloy and the reigning Pan Am Champion.

Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) - Four years ago Harrison qualified for the Trials as a 13-year-old 48kg player, but the division wasn't qualified for the Games. Now Harrison is in a similar position where she is ranked as both a 63kg player who won the 2007 U.S. Open and the reigning 78kg National Champion, but neither division is currently qualified for Beijing.

Katie Mocco (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) - Mocco is the top-ranked player in the 78kg division, but will likely move down to 70kg where she is ranked #7 and would look to challenge Rousey for the Olympic berth.

Lorey Edwards (Lorain, Ohio / Chu To Bu) has been nationally ranked in both the 78kg and +78kg divisions over the years. This spring, Edwards moved down to 78kg and has a #7 ranking in the division.

A complete roster of athletes eligible to compete in the Trials is as follows:

60kg
1. Taraje Williams-Murray (Bronx, N.Y. / NYAC / Spartak Sports Club)
2. Nick Kossor (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
4. Josh O'Neil (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
5. Jeff Sato (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
6. Jeff Fujimoto (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
7. Dan Gomez (College Station, Texas / Texas A & M Judo)
8. Miguel Ballesteros (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

66kg
1. Taylor Takata (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Kenny Hashimoto (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
3. Jeremy Liggett (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
4. Nate Torra (El Cerrito, Calif. / NYAC / East Bay Judo Institute)
5. Justin Flores (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
6. Josh O'Neil (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
7. Jeff Fong (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
8. Daniel Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)

73kg
1. Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute)
3. Chuck Jefferson (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
4. Radu Brestyan (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
5. Nick Delpopolo (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
6. Bobby Lee (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
7. RJ Cohen (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Cohen's Judo)
8. Bill Shanahan (Rexford, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)

81kg
1. Travis Stevens (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
2. Aaron Cohen (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / NYAC / Cohen's Judo)
3. Harry St. Leger (Brooklyn, N.Y. / NYAC / Legrosports Starrett)
4. Andrew Hung (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
5. Ross McBaisey (Atlanta, Ga. / Emory Judo)
6. Jose Bencosme (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
7. Davor Vasiljevic (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
8. Danny Satinsky (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Cohen's Judo)

90kg
1. Garry St. Leger (Brooklyn, N.Y. / NYAC / Legrosports Starrett)
2. Rick Hawn (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
3. Brian Olson (Colorado Springs, Colo. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
4. Landry Ambouroue (North Richland Hills, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo Training Center)
5. Jacob Larsen (Santa Rosa, Calif. / Redwood Coast Judo)
6. David Ellis (Roselle Park, N.J. / Cranford Judo)
7. Eric Duus (Saratoga, Calif. / Stanford Judo)
8. Atsushi Yoshinaga (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)

100kg
1. Adler Volmar (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
2. Christian Aarona (Waimanalo, Hawaii / Makiki Seidokan Judo Club)
3. Djamaldin Aliev (Denver, Colo. / Denver Judo / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
4. Dariusz Mikolajczak (Brooklyn, N.Y. / NYAC / Legrosports Starrett)
5. Shintaro Higashi (Scarsdale, N.Y. / NYAC Kokushi Budo Institute)
6. Michael Barnes (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
7. Brian Picklo (Mustang, Okla. / USA Stars)
8. Victor Jean-Baptiste (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Mushakan Dojo)

+100kg
1. Anthony Turner (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
2. Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
3. Kirk Hoffmann (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
4. Jonathan Leonhardt (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
5. Derek Alef (Santa Barbara, Calif. / Santa Ynez Valley Judo)
6. James "Brewster" Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
7. Conor Driscoll (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
8. Michael Prieditis (Fayetteville, N.C.)

48kg
1. Sayaka Matsumoto (El Cerrito, Calif. / NYAC / East Bay Judo Institute)
2. Natalie Lafon (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Ann Shiraishi (San Francisco, Calif. / East Bay Judo Institute)
4. Angela Creutzberger (Ballston, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
5. Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / Mayo Quanchi Judo)
6. Diana Yoshida (Dallas, Texas / Dallas Judo)
7. Lisette Abad (San Jose, Calif. / After-School All-Stars)
8. Kayla Hall (Granite City, Ill. / USA Stars)

52kg*
1. Anna Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Tracy Nagai (Bellevue, Wash. / Budokan Judo)
3. Nicki Schultheis (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
4. Ann Shiraishi (San Francisco, Calif. / East Bay Judo Institute)
5. Chrissy Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tokai)
6. Mindy Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tokai)
7. Grace Ohashi (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
8. Tara Clark (Livermore, Calif. / Amador Judo)

57kg
1. Valerie Gotay (Harlingen, Texas / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen)
2. Carrie Chandler (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Hannah Martin (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
4. Anna Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
5. Janine Nakao (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
6. Hana Carmichael (Wellington, Fla. / Budokan Judo)
7. Michelle Hagerty (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
8. Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)

63kg*
1. Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
2. Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
3. Janine Nakao (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
4. Paola Genao-Butler (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
5. Ashlie Martini (Chicago, Ill. / Tohkon / Victorious Judo)
6. Hannah Martin (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
7. Kristen Allan (Springfield, Va. / Sport Judo)
8. Christal Ransom (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)

70kg
1. Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
2. Katie Sell (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at Harlingen)
3. Tomoyo Yoshinaga (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
4. Jaclyn Feuerschwenger (Linden, N.J. / Cranford Judo)
5. Jennifer Tutass (El Cerrito, Calif. / Cunningham's Judo)
6. Katie Mocco (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
7. Helen Delpopolo (Westfield, N.J. / Cranford Judo)
8. Natalie Laursen (Livermore, Calif. / Amador Judo)

78kg*
1. Katie Mocco (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
2. Nina Cutro-Kelly (San Antonio, Texas / Universal Judo)
3. Rhonda Morrell-Pruitt (Centerville, Ohio / Shudokan Judo Club)
4. Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
5. Nikki Kubes (Fort Worth, Texas / Fort Worth Judo)
6. Marina Lambert (Chesapeake, Va. / Washington Judo)
7. Lorey Edwards (Lorain, Ohio / Chu To Bu)
8. Missy Tashihiro (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)

+78kg*
1. Heidi Moore (Englewood, Colo. / Denver Judo)
2. Melinda Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tokai)
3. Brittni Bradford (San Antonio, Texas / Universal Judo)
4. Lorey Edwards (Lorain, Ohio / Chu To Bu)
5. Nanoushka St. Pre (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Legrosports Starrett)
6. Toni Geiger (Dumont, N.J. / Tech Judo)
7. Janelle Snider (Latham, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
8. Andi Bongert (Dubuque, Iowa / Sioux City Judo Club)

* As of May 15, the United States has not qualified athletes to compete in these divisions at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo.

For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, USA Judo Director of Communications and Media Relations, at 719.271.9937 (cell) or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us.
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