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Beijing Olympians to Vie for 2009 World Team Berths in San Diego this Weekend

April 14, 2009, 5:12 p.m. (ET)
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - With the Beijing Olympic Games barely eight months behind them, three members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team will be among the athletes vying for National titles and berths on the 2009 World Team at the USA Judo Senior National Championships on Friday and Saturday in San Diego.

Competition will be held at the Town & Country Resort and Conference Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.

Preliminary rounds begin at 9 a.m. each day with finals and World Team Trials beginning at 5 p.m. each day.

The schedule of weight divisions being contested is as follows:

Friday, April 17
Men's 81kg, 90kg, 100kg and +100kg
Women's 63kg, 70kg, 78kg and +78kg

Saturday April 18
Men's 55kg, 60kg, 66kg, 73kg and Open
Women's 44kg, 48kg, 52kg, 57kg and Open

Walk-up registration is still available on Thursday.  Click here for more information.

Olympians Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) and Travis Stevens (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) both have National and Pan American titles to their names, but this will be the first time the two could fight each other as Reser has moved up from 73kg to 81kg for the event.

Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), a ninth-place finisher in Beijing, will be the top seed in the +100kg division where he will be looking for both his first National title as a heavyweight and his first berth on a Senior World Team.

Other stories to watch at the Senior Nationals include:

  • Natalie Lafon (USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) will return to her hometown of San Diego to defend her Senior National title in the 48kg division as she looks to qualify for her first World Team.
  • Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) became just the third U.S. player to win a Junior World Title in October, but came down with mononucleosis the week she was supposed to leave for the World Tour in February.  The reigning 78kg National Champion, Harrison will attempt to qualify for her first Senior World Team.
  • Myles Porter (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center), a 2008 Paralympian, looks to become the first visually impaired athlete to win a Senior National title and will likely enter the 100kg division as the #3 seed.

The top seeds in each division are scheduled to be as follows:

Women's 44kg
Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

Women's 48kg
Natalie Lafon (San Diego, Calif. / Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)

Women's 52kg
Kayla Chappell (Moore, Okla. / USA Stars)

Women's 57kg
Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

Women's 63kg
Christal Ransom (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)

Women's 70kg
Katie Sell (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)

Women's 78kg
Nina Cutro-Kelly (San Antonio, Texas / Universal Judo)

Women's +78kg
Mindy Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)

Women's Open
Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)

Men's 55kg
Alex Shustorovich (Marlboro, N.J. / Camal Judo)

Men's 60kg
Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)

Men's 66kg
Jeff Fong (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)

Men's 73kg
Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute)

Men's 81kg
Travis Stevens (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)

Men's 90kg
Jacob Larsen (Colorado Springs, Colo. / Team FORCE / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)

Men's 100kg
Djamaldin Aliev (Denver, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)

Men's +100kg
Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)

Men's Open
Kyle Vashkulat (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)

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