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USA Judo National Champions to be Crowned in Daytona Beach this Weekend

May 16, 2022, 2:45 p.m. (ET)

A 2014 Senior World bronze medalist for Cuba, Maria Laborde will be competing at her first USA Judo Senior Nationals in Daytona. Photo Credit: IJF. 

 

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – More than 300 athletes will go for gold at the USA Judo Senior National Championships from May 21-22 at the Ocean Center Convention Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The pinnacle of competition for Olympic hopefuls, the Senior Nationals will draw athletes from the United States in the first major domestic senior event of the 2022 season.

Top athletes to watch in the senior events include:

  • Maria Laborde (Kenosha, Wis. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center / 48kg), 2014 Senior World bronze medalist for Cuba and 2022 Senior Pan Am Championships bronze medalist for Team USA
  • Brad Bolen (North Charleston, S.C. / Aspire Judo / 73kg), six-time Senior National Champion and 2020 Senior Pan Am Champion
  • Mariah Holguin (San Antonio, Texas / Universal Judo / 57kg), 2021 Senior National Champion and 2022 Senior Pan Am Championships bronze medalist
  • Chantal Wright (San Antonio, Texas / Semper Fortis Judo / 70kg), two-time Senior National Champion and two-time Senior Pan Am Championships bronze medalist
  • Christian Konoval (Rockport, Texas / NYAC / Becerra Judo / +100kg), 2022 Senior Pan Am bronze medalist and two-time Junior World Team member
  • Sara Golden (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center / 63kg), 2021 Senior National Champion and 2021 Senior World Team member
  • Nicole Stout (Schenectady, N.Y. / Jason Morris Judo Center / 78kg), 2021 Senior National Champion and 2017 Senior World Team member
  • Mackenzie Williams (El Lago, Texas / Westlake Judo Club / +78kg), 2017 Senior National Champion and 2019 Senior World Team member
  • Nick Yonezuka (West Long Branch, N.J. / NYAC / Cranford Judo & Karate Center / 81kg), 2021 Senior National Champion and 2021 Junior World Team member
  • Melissa Myers (Burnt Hills, N.Y. / Jason Morris Judo Center / 70kg), 2021 Senior National Champion and 2015 Junior World Team member
  • Jeanette Hong (Fort Lee, N.J. / Fort Lee Judo / 52kg), 2021 Senior National Champion
  • Nick Rodriguez (Lehigh Acres, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center / 73kg), two-time Junior Pan Am medalist and 2021 Junior World Team member
  • Tasha Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center / 57kg), two-time Junior Pan Am medalist and 2021 Junior World Team member
  • Alexander Knauf (Yorkville, Ill. / NYAC / Cohen Brothers Judo / 90kg), two-time Junior Pan Am medalist and 2021 Junior World Team member
  • Nicole Cancela (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center / 52kg), two-time Junior Pan Am medalist and 2022 Cadet Pan Am Champion
  • Harlee Hiller (Evanston, Ill. / Cohen Brothers Judo / 48kg), 2022 Junior Pan Am silver medalist and 2022 Cadet Pan Am silver medalist
  • Danielle Pekler (Prairie View, Ill. / Cohen Brothers Judo / 57kg), 2022 Junior Pan Am silver medalist
  • Shavon Gonzalez (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center / 70kg), 2022 Junior Pan Am bronze medalist and two-time Cadet Pan Am medalist
  • Jacob Yang (Los Angeles, Calif. / LA Judo Club / 66kg), 2022 Junior Pan American bronze medalist and 2022 Cadet Pan American bronze medalist
  • Jack Yonezuka (West Long Branch, N.J. / Cranford Judo & Karate Center / 66kg), 2020 Junior Pan Am silver medalist 2021 Junior World Team member

Athletes also will compete in events for veterans (age groups for 30-80+) as well as kata (forms), brown belt, novice and IJF-Junior events with all competitions held in the Ocean Center arena.

This year will mark the first time the Senior Nationals have been held in Daytona Beach – a city known as the host of the Daytona 500, but that also is the site of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Varsity Spirit’s National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championship, the College Basketball Invitational, JVC-Nike DB 100 Volleyball and the 2022 USA Taekwondo East Regional Grand Prix.

“We’re excited to be able to bring the Senior National Championships to a city that is both an outstanding location and has a rich tradition of holding excellent sporting events,” said USA Judo Director of Membership and Events Corinne Shigemoto. “Our partners at the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Ocean Center and The Plaza Resort Hotel all have been outstanding to work with and I know are looking forward to helping put on a first-class event for the USA Judo family and showcase our sport to the community in Daytona Beach.”

All competitions are open to the public. Spectator admission on Saturday is $12 per day for individuals 13 and older, $6 per day for children ages 9-12 and free for children ages 8 and younger. Entry into the kata competition is free on Sunday.

“Being able to host premier events such as the 2022 USA Judo National Championships creates a positive impact to our local economy,” said Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lori Campbell Baker. “With a spectacular venue in the Ocean Center, high-quality accommodations and a plethora of activities to enjoy, the competitors as well as their families and friends will have a great experience visiting at our destination.”