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Mar 25 Familiar Faces Return to Midwestern Championships

March 25, 2009, 6:09 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Former Junior World Team member Paola Genao-Butler (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) wasn't even born when Lynn Roethke (Fond du Lac, Club Olympia Judo) won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. 
 
Roethke, who also competed at the 1992 Games, was a member of the first women's judo team to compete at the Olympic Games when judo was contested as a demonstration sport in 1988.  Now a judo coach herself, 47-year-old Roethke returned to the mat at the Midwestern Championships, a USA Judo Senior E-Level Point Tournament on Saturday in Waukegan, Ill. 
 
After defeating Ewelina Szewczuk (Brighton, Mich. / Saito Judo) and Kelly Au (Chicago, Ill. / Midwest Judo & Jujitsu Club) in the first two rounds of the 63kg division, Roethke advanced to the final against 19-year-old Genao-Butler.  Roethke won the match, sending Genao-Butler down to the repechage where she defeated Au to earn the right to fight Roethke twice more in the true double elimination tournament.
 
Genao-Butler, a silver medalist at the 2008 Senior Nationals, won both of the next two matches and the gold medal.
 
In the 100kg division, four-time Senior National medalist Mark Fletcher (Atlanta, Ga. / Ultimate Challenge Judo) returned to competition again.  Fletcher, who was an alternate to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, made a comeback attempt in 2007, but did not qualify for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo. 
 
Fletcher seemed to be in top form as he defeated all of his opponents by ippon (instant win), including a win over 2008 Paralympian Myles Porter (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) who is currently ranked fourth in the division.
 
After winning his first silver medal at the New York Open two weeks ago, two-time Junior World Team member Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) was undefeated in the 73kg division where he captured wins in two of the most exciting matches of the day, defeating former German National Champion Toni Lettner by two waza-aris (half-point each) in the semi-finals and again by two yukos (quarter-point each) in the final. 
 
Three members of the U.S. Team that will compete this week at the Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires came out to the event to pick up final tune-up matches.
 
Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) and Katie Sell (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) won the 57kg and 70kg divisions, respectively with both players taking their matches by ippon.  Suzie Rizek (Naperville, Ill. / Fox Valley Judo & Jujitsu) split her matches in the 78kg division with Kaitlyn McKim (Colorado Springs, Colo. / Olympic Training Center) 2-1.
 
Beijing Olympic alternates Josh O'Neil (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center) and Aaron Cohen (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / NYAC / Cohen's Judo) both fought up from their U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Judo weights.  O'Neil won the 60kg division while Cohen took gold at 90kg.

Complete results are as follows:

Men's 60kg
1. Ladasua Awal Jawam (Unknown)
2. Derek Edwards (Montgomery, Ill. / Yorkville Judo Club)
3. Ron Hawthorne (Kansas City, Kans. / Cahill's Judo Academy)

Men's 66kg
1. Josh O'Neil (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Max Schneider (Chicago, Ill. / Tohkon Judo Academy)
3. Oscar Lahoud (Ann Arbor, Mich. / YMCA Ann Arbor Judo)
 
Men's 73kg
1. Nick Delpopolo (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
2. Toni Lettner (GER)
3. Danny Satinsky (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Cohen's Judo)
 
Men's 81kg
1. RJ Cohen (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Cohen's Judo)
2. Abdul Razak Albassan (Unknown)
3. AJ Lupie (Aurora, Ill. / Fox Valley Judo & Jujitsu)
 
Men's 90kg
1. Aaron Cohen (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / NYAC / Cohen's Judo)
2. Akitoshi Sogabe (Lawrence, Kans. / University of Kansas Judo)
3. Deyan Kolev (Des Plaines, Ill. / Chicago Tenri Dojo)
 
Men's 100kg
1. Mark Fletcher (Atlanta, Ga. / Ultimate Challenge Judo)
2. Myles Porter (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
3. Bruce Burken (Unknown)
 
Men's +100kg
1. Colin Robinson (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Mike Kaminsky (Marquette, Mich. / Superior Judo)
3. Alexis Martell (Belleville, Mich. / Ultimate Judo & Karate)

Women's 48kg
1. Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
2. Adriana Rosas (Southside Dojo, Portage, Mich.)
 
Women's 52kg
1. Jessica Irons (Yorkville, Ill. / Yorkville Judo / USA Judo National Team FORCE)
2. Kayla Hall (Granite City, Ill. / USA Stars)
3. Mirielle Graves (Edwardsville, Ill./ USA Stars)
 
Women's 57kg
1. Angelica Delgado (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)
2. Anna Feygina (St. Ann, Mo. / Kirkwood Webster Judo)
 
Women's 63kg
1. Paola Genao-Butler (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Lynn Roethke (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Club Olympia Judo)
3. Kelly Au (Chicago, Ill. / Midwest Judo & Jujitsu Club)
 
Women's 70kg
1. Katie Sell (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
2. Samantha Bleier (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center)
3. Kelsi Bostic (Anderson, Ind. / Judan Judo)
 
Women's 78kg
1. Suzie Rizek (Naperville, Ill. / Fox Valley Judo & Jujitsu)
2. Kaitlyn McKim (Colorado Springs, Colo. / Olympic Training Center)

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