USA Judo logo

USA Judo

Mar 07 Katelyn Bouyssou Becomes Youngest U.S. Player to Qualify for Senior World Championships

April 19, 2009, 2:14 a.m. (ET)

(San Diego, Calif.) - At 14-years-old, Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / NYAC / Mayo Quanchi Judo Club) became the youngest U.S. player ever to qualify for a Senior World Team on Saturday when she won both the Senior National Championships and the World Team Trials.

Bouyssou advanced to her first Senior National final after wins against Angela Ross (Livermore, Calif. / Northern California Elite Team) and 2008 Junior World Team member Angela Creutzberger (Ballston Lakes, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)

The #2 seed in the division, Bouyssou was in a must-win situation in her final match against reigning National Champion Natalie Lafon (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center).  As the top seed, Lafon would earn the World Team slot if she won the final match.  Bouyssou, however, would force a best-of-three fight-off for the slot if she won gold.

"Everyone always says 'You're only 14, there's no pressure.   You have plenty of time.'  But I always want to be the best," Bouyssou said.  "I'm young, and I know I have many years ahead of me, so I just went out there and said that whatever happens, happens.  You just have to leave it all out on the mat."

Bouyssou looked calm during her gold medal match, winning by three yuko (quarter-point each) scores.

After winning the final, Bouyssou beamed as she accepted first her gold medal and then her award for the Outstanding Female Competitor of the tournament before going back to preparing for her fight-off series 30 minutes later.

Bouyssou controlled that match as well, throwing Lafon for an early yuko and later for a waza-ari (half-point).  In the last minute, Lafon increased her attacks, but Bouyssou countered with a second waza-ari throw to end the match.

In their second fight-off, Lafon attacked continuously, throwing Bouyssou for a yuko in the first minute, but the ninth-grader took Lafon back down to the ground for a second yuko score to tie the score and send the match to overtime.

In the three-minute sudden death period, Bouyssou was given a warning for stalling, but neither player scored.  When the match was sent to a referee decision, the match was called for a more aggressive Lafon, forcing a third fight-off.

This time, Lafon appeared to be the more tentative player and Bouyssou capitalized, throwing her for ippon to win the berth on the Senior World Team.

"I'm pretty thrilled.  I feel very privileged to be going to the Worlds and I'm going to be training hard," said Bouyssou who set her eyes on Olympic gold at the young age of six.  "I told my dad I wanted to win the tournament with the five rings and he didn't know what I was talking about."

Bouyssou's father and coach Serge Bouyssou laughed and said: "I didn't know what she was talking about at first and when your 6-year-old says 'I wanna win the Olympics,' you say 'Oh, ok.  Great honey.'"

But his daughter was serious.

"I'd heard somewhere about a guy who won the Olympics and did 1,000 push ups a day, so I decided I'd do that too," Katelyn said.  "I could only do 20 at first, but I worked up to 1,000 by around nine and I did 500 situps and jump squats too."

Fortunately, by the ripe old age of 11 Katelyn had become wiser about her habit.

"I found out that doing that many push ups kind of deteriorates your joints so I stopped that, but I'd still sneak some in when nobody was watching," she laughed.

With less than five months until the World Championships, Aug. 26-29 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Bouyssou plans on continuing her training schedule through the summer when she will compete in the Cadet World Championships during the first week of August in Budapest, Hungary. 

"I think Cadets will be a good chance to help make me mentally prepared for what tournaments that size are like," she said. 

In a day filled with hotly contested matches, Bouyssou's was just one of eight World Team slots awarded.

Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University) earned her first World Team berth the hard way when she entered the 2007 Senior Nationals as an unranked 63kg player and won a fight-off to compete in Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, Malloy surprised many when she placed ninth as one of the smallest players in the 63kg division. 

Now back down to 57kg, Malloy defeated both top-ranked Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) and 2008 U.S. Open Champion Hannah Martin (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) en route to winning her third straight Senior National title.

After winning the Female Best Technique Award, Malloy threw Delgado for ippon in their first fight-off match. 

In their second meeting, Malloy threw Delgado in the last minute for a yuko score and held on to a pin to win the match and her second Senior World Team slot.

Kim Carpenter (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) was not heavily favored to win the 52kg division, but used her underdog status to her advantage, throwing former 48kg Pan Am Games medalist Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) to win the semifinals and pinning top seed Kayla Chappell (Oklahoma, City, Okla. / USA Stars) to win her first Senior National title. 

In their first fight-off, Carpenter armbarred Chappell and then threw her for ippon.  Carpenter used her ground game again in her next match when she choked Chappell.  Both wins gave Carpenter her first trip to the Senior Worlds.

Beijing Olympic Team alternate Josh O'Neil (Racine, Wis. / Cohen's Judo) had three of the most decisive victories of the night, throwing #1 seed Jeff Fong (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University) for ippon first in the gold medal final and later in two fight-off matches.

Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), a ninth-place finisher in the +100kg division in Beijing, won his first World Team berth on Friday, but he matched the achievement on Saturday when he added the Open division to his World schedule.

Although he lost his final match in the Open division to Tokuzo Takahashi (JPN), McCormick finished as the top American in a division that admits international players and earned a fight-off against Kyle Vashkulat (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) who won a silver medal in the 100kg division on Friday.

In their semifinal match earlier in the day, McCormick threw Vashkulat and later choked him to advance to the final.

In the fight-off, however, Vashkulat took an early lead when he armbarred McCormick to win the first match.

McCormick came back, however, throwing Vashkulat in the next to matches to win the Trials.

Three other divisions awarded World Team slots by virtue of the #1 seed winning the division.

One of the most exciting finals of the day was between 73kg top seed Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute) and 2007 Senior Nationals silver medalist Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)

Although both players attacked throughout a fast-paced match, neither scored until Delpopolo threw Eldred for a yuko in the last eight seconds.  Delpopolo attacked again on the next exchange, though, and Eldred countered for a waza-ari score as the buzzer went off to win his first National title.

Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) won the 60kg division when 2008 National Champion Nick Kossor (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) was awarded four penalties that ended the match.

Reigning Junior World Champion Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) qualified for the World Team in the 78kg division on Friday, but she added the Open division when she threw heavyweight Melinda Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri) on the first exchange.

Harrison, McCormick and Kunihiro are just three of five World Team members from the USA Judo National Team FORCE program whose athletes won seven of 16 World Team slots.

Athletes from USA Judo National Training Sites earned 11 slots overall, including two players from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and one each from San Jose State University and the Jason Morris Judo Center. 

Two non-World Championship lightweight divisions also were contested on Saturday.

Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) won the 44kg division with four matches each ending in ippons.

Fifty-one-year-old Mickey Matsutmoto (Torrance, Calif. / Gardena Judo) won his fifth Senior National title in the 55kg division.  

A complete list of the top five finishers in each division is as follows.  * Indicates World Team members.  In divisions where fight-offs were needed to determine the World Team member, results of the best-of-three fight-offs are noted as well.

Men's 55kg (Non-World Championship Division)
1. Mickey Matsumoto (Torrance, Calif. / Gardena Judo)
2. Matt Dong (San Jose, Calif. / San Jose Buddhist Judo Club)
3. Hiram Cruz (Jacksonville, Fla. / Ryu Judo Jacksonville)
3. Aaron Fukuhara (Torrance, Calif. / Gardena Judo Club)
5. Ronald Hawthorne (Kansas City, Kans.)
5. Joshua Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

Men's 60kg
1. Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)*
2. Nick Kossor (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
3. Nico Harriman (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
3. Vitaliy Vanyan (North Hollywood, Calif. / Mojica Judo)
5. Arnold Toriumi (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)
5. Anthony Kwon (Kaneohe / Hodokan Judo Club)

Men's 66kg
1. Josh O'Neil (Racine, Wis. / Cohen's Judo)*
2. Jeff Fong (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
3. Brad Bolen (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Rafael Ramos (Union City, N.J. / Camal Judo)
5. Kyle Taketa (Torrance, Calif. / Gardena Judo)
5. Julio Rodriguez (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)

Fight-off Results
O'Neil def. Fong, 2-0

Men's 73kg
1. Michael Eldred (Fruitland, Idaho / Western Idaho Judo Institute)*
2. Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
3. David Torres (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)
3. Danny Satinsky (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Cohen's Judo)
5. Joseph Hashimoto (San Jose, Calif. / Northglenn Judo)
5. Alfred Raymond (Providence, R.I. / Mayo Quanchi Judo Club)

Men's Open
1. Tokuzo Takahashi (JPN)
2. Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)*
3. Kyle Vashkulat (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Leonardo Allan (BRA)
5. Brian Pereira (Dambury, Conn. / Stamford Judo)
5. Mike Kannianen (Greeley, Colo. / Northglenn Judo Club)

Fight-off Results
McCormick def. Vashkulat, 2-1

Women's 44kg (Non-World Championship Division)
1. Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
2. Victoria Burke (Livermore, Calif. / Northern California Elite Team)
3. Nicole Padron (Davie, Fla. / Panther Judo)
3. Vanessa Calimquim (Long Beach, Calif. / South Bay Judo)

Women's 48kg
1. Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / NYAC / Mayo Quanchi Judo)*
2. Natalie Lafon (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center
3. Taylor Ibera (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)
3. Angela Creutzberger (Ballston Lakes, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
5. Lisette Abad (San Jose, Calif. / After-School All-Stars)
5. Amelia Fulgentes (Simi Valley, Calif. / Mojica Judo)

Fight-off Results
Bouyssou def. Lafon, 2-1

Women's 52kg
1. Kim Carpenter (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)*
2. Kayla Chappell (Oklahoma City, Okla. / USA Stars)
3. Tracy Nagai (Bellevue, Wash. / Budokan Judo)
3. Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
5. Jessica Irons (Yorkville, Ill. / USA Judo National Team FORCE / Yorkville Judo)
5. Chrissy Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)

Fight-off Results
Carpenter def. Chappell, 2-0

Women's 57kg
1. Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at San Jose State University)*
2. Hannah Martin (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center)
3. Hana Carmichael (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
3. Mindy Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)
5. Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
5. Pauline Macias (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center)

Fight-off Results
Malloy def. Delgado, 2-0

Women's Open
1. Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)*
2. Mindy Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri)
3. Natalie Laursen (Livermore, Calif. / Northern California Elite Team)
3. Vanessa Molina (Uniondale, N.Y. / Combat Judo Academy)
5. Kaitlyn McKim (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center)
5. Meagan Higgins (Livermore, Calif. / Northern California Elite Team) 

Comments