SWUG Trials and National Qualifier This Weekend at Olympic Training Center

May 14, 2009, 12:33 p.m. (ET)


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Taekwondo will host two separate events this weekend at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. On Friday, 40 athletes will compete in the 2009 Summer World University Games Team Trials. On Saturday and Sunday, 227 athletes, ages 6-60 will compete in the fifth and final National Qualifier event for 2009. Competition begins at 9:00 a.m. each day in Sports Center I. Tickets are $10/day, or $7/day for children (6-9) and seniors (60+). Two-day passes are available for the National Qualifier on Saturday and Sunday for $15, or $10 for children and seniors. Children under the age of 6 are admitted free of charge on all days.

The 2009 Summer World University Games Team Trials, a joint effort between USA Taekwondo and the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association, will feature two members of the 2009 U.S. National Team -- men's flyweight James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.) and women's flyweight Danielle Pelham (Bothell, Wash.). The winners of the double-elimination competition in each of the 16 weight divisions (8 men, 8 women), will comprise the U.S. team that will compete at the 2009 Summer World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, July 1-12.

 The list of Friday's Team Trials competitors by division is as follows:
(* = 2009 U.S. National Team Member)

Male Finweight
Nicholas Morrison (Eagle River, Alaska/Arizona State)
Johnny Nguyen (Chandler, Ariz./Arizona State)
Aaron Porras (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Colorado)

Male Flyweight
*James Howe (San Ramon, Calif./Diablo Valley)
Simon Rodriguez (Salt Lake City, Utah/Utah)

Male Bantamweight
Michael Hobbs (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Florida International)
Jason Hwang (Alta Loma, Calif./Cal State-San Bernardino)
Jermaine James (Cape Coral, Fla./Edison)

Male Featherweight
Terrence Jennings (Woodbridge, Va./Northern Virginia C.C.)
Anthony Nguyen (Chandler, Ariz./Arizona State)

Male Lightweight
Nir Moriah (Houston, Texas/Rice)
Dennis Rudasill (Fayetteville, Ark./Oklahoma State)
Stefan Webb (Littleton, Colo./Metro Denver State)

Male Welterweight
Luke Ford (Coconut Grove, Fla./Nova Southeastern)
Kristopher Uy (Walnut Creek, Calif./Diablo Valley)

Male Middleweight
Aaron Dickerson (Pendleton, Ky./Louisville)
Jayson Grant (Worcester, Mass./Quinsigamond C.C.)

Male Heavyweight
Vito Angrisano (West Point, N.Y./U.S. Military Academy)
Mehdi Dehghani (Springfield, Va./Northern Virginia C.C.)
Jeremy Evans (Grimes, Iowa/Drake)
T.J. Leising (Albuquerque, N.M./Santa Clara)

Female Finweight
Anees Hasnain (McKinney, Texas)
Samantha Holland (Ames, Iowa/Iowa State)

Female Flyweight
Kelly Chu (Plano, Texas/Baylor)
Cheryl Krause (Fairfax Station, Va./Virginia Commonwealth)
*Danielle Pelham (Bothell, Wash./Lake Washington Technical)

Female Bantamweight
Heidi Brehmer (Eagle River, Alaska/Milwaukee School of Engineering)
Aziza Chambers (Springfield, Ohio/Dayton)

Female Featherweight
Kasey Mallard (Dallas, Texas)
Amber Means (Sugar Land, Texas/Houston)

Female Lightweight
Whitney Daniel (Virginia Beach, Va./Miami)
Anastasia Kazimirova (Cambridge, Mass./Tufts)
Audrey Su (Garland, Texas)
Emma Wu (Camarillo, Calif./Harvard)

Female Welterweight
Heather Niemczyk (Marco Island, Fla./Florida Gulf Coast)
Bonny Su (Garland, Texas/Texas)

Female Middleweight
Melissa Blasco (Tuckerton, N.J./Rutgers)
Brandi Powers (Nottingham, Md./Stevenson)

Female Heavyweight
Maia Eubanks (Houston, Texas/Rice)
Laura Schwarz (Middletown, N.Y./State University of New York-Orange)

The National Qualifiers are qualification events for those athletes interested in competing in the World Class division at the 2009 USA Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships and the 2009 USAT National Taekwondo Championships. Each of the top four black belt athletes per sparring weight class in the male divisions and the top four black belt athletes in the female sparring divisions at each qualifier will qualify for the World Class sparring division at the USA Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships and the USAT Senior National Championships (June 30-July 5 in Austin, Texas).

Other USAT National Qualifiers held in 2009 were in Kissimmee, Fla. (April 4-5), Buffalo, N.Y. (April 18-19), Austin, Texas (April 25-26) and San Jose, Calif. (May 9-10).

The gold medalists from the World Class division at the 2009 USA Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships in Austin will qualify for the 2009 Junior National Team Trial/Fight-Off later this year.

For the poomsae (forms) competitors, the top four athletes/pairs/teams, per gender, in the 16 Competition Poomsae divisions at each National Qualifier advance to the 2009 U.S. National Poomsae Team Trials in Austin, Texas, June 30-July.

Highlighting the field of competitors at this weekend's National Qualifier are four members of the 2008 U.S. Junior National Team -- Nicole Palma (Lake Worth, Fla.), Kiana Lo (Danville, Calif.), Stephanie Popken (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Jeffery Williams (Blue Island, Ill.) -- as well as two members of the 2008 U.S. Junior World Team -- Jared Schneider (Sugar Land, Texas) and 2008 Junior World Champion Selina Tubbs (Plano, Texas).

Other notable competitors include 2009 U.S. Open gold medalist Gus Villa (Los Angeles, Calif.), 2009 U.S. Open silver medalist Trevor Neville (Edmond, Okla.), 2009 U.S. Open bronze medalist Tanner Creel (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 2009 Collegiate Nationals silver medalist Nir Moriah (Houston, Texas), 2009 Collegiate Nationals bronze medalist Melissa Blasco (Tuckerton, N.J.), 2008 national champion Jermaine James (Cape Coral, Fla.), 2008 Armed Forces gold medalist Jamie Lee Toyota (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2008 U.S. Open bronze medalist Tasha Pruter (Blue Springs, Mo.), 2008 Rocky Mountain Open gold medalist Jorge Mejia (Littleton, Colo.), 2007 U.S. Nationals silver medalist Gary Galloway (Wylie, Texas) and 2007 Junior Olympics silver medalist Salar Faiazi (Oklahoma City, Okla.).