Senior Nationals - A SUCCESS!

By Diego Osorio | May 07, 2014, 1:20 a.m. (ET)

Reno, NV was the chosen location for the 2014 Senior National Championships. The event was held at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino from Saturday, May 3 to Sunday, May 4. The senior nationals featured six divisions: Seniors, Novice, Kata, Brown Belt, Masters and Visually Impaired, which altogether brought an impressive 626 participants to the mats.

The Senior Nationals, in this occasion, served as the qualifying event for the upcoming IBSA World Judo Championships to take place in this September in Colorado Springs, CO. On Sunday, May 4, USA Judo Paralympians Ron Hawthorne in 60kg, Dartanyon Crockett in 90kg, Myles Porter in 100kg, Cindy Simon in 57kg, Christella Garcia in 63kg and Katie Davis in +70kg officially qualified for the world team. After hiatus several Paralympians returned to the mat and qualified for IBSA World Judo Championships. The number of competitors in the VI division were up significantly, with a lot of upcoming stars. Infusion of new athletes showed that we have a bright future in the Judo Paralympic world” said Eddie Liddie, USA Judo’s Director of Athlete Performance.

The world of judo also used this opportunity to honor and recognize the sportsmanship and dedication of Marti Malloy with the Rusty Kanokogi Outstanding Female Athlete Award. Brett Wolf and Mike Swain were also awarded for 2013 Paralympic coach and coach of the year, respectively.

Among the many highlights that accumulated throughout the weekend, it was the fierce competition what stood out. Hundreds of judokas from different clubs nationwide showed their passion for the sport as they left their all on the mats with the objective of making it to the top three of the division they were competing in.  Some of the big winners of the senior nationals include:

-          The Jason Morris judo Center: 2 gold and 1 bronze in brown belt.

-          The Olympic Training Center: 3 gold and 1 silver in visually impaired.

-          Reno Judo Club: 4 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze in novice.

Though the athletes and the audience attended the Senior National Championships in search of a gold medal, you could not stay away from the fun that the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino offered. With go-karts, cinema, exclusive shows and events, bowling, driving range, nightlife and much more, the GSR certainly had amenities and entertainment to fulfill the preferences of its guests.

The success of this two-day event was possible due to the contribution of many. A well-deserved mention goes to the volunteers from the Reno Judo Club that donated their time to help set up and maintain the organization throughout the tournament.  “The 2014 Senior Nationals in Reno Nevada was the Biggest Judo Tournament that our City has ever seen and the Tournament was a complete Success” said Barush Torres from Reno Judo Club. USA Judo is very grateful for every person involved in the realization of this great tournament.

A special thanks to the over 60 referees who attended the senior nationals and to the unconditional support from our boards of directors and Circle 100 members whose contributions, undoubtedly, prove to be extremely valuable and at USA Judo, we appreciate it.

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