Alliance Taekwondo participated in the 2013 Roughrider Invitational on October 19th with a smaller crew of eleven solid competitors. The Alliance Juniors Team, captained this time by jr blacksbelt Lynsey Eberle was nine competitors strong, with five team members competing as jr blackbelts for the first time; Shawna Fairbanks, Austin Hunt, Justin Story, Nicholas Uhlich, and Steven Weigel. Juniors Team underbelt competitors included Zachary Miller, Braden Fritel and Cameron Lemere. The Juniors Team took home seventeen trophies in thirteen separate divisions. Two adult black belt competitors, Alliance assistant instructor Dale Schneibel and Alliance alumnus Kyle Sanford also competed in five separate divisions, taking home three trophies and bringing the full count up to twenty awards in eighteen separate divisions.
The blackbelts started the day with forms. Alumnus Kyle Sanford took first in his division with an explosive display of Kumgong in his first ever forms competition at the 2nd dan level. Junior Team captain Lynsey Eberle took first in her jr blackbelt division with another impressive demonstration of Koryo; Austin Hunt, as a new jr blackbelt, burned through his best Pal Gae Pal Chung to take second place in a separate jr blackbelt division.
In an arrangement becoming more common in the local tournament circuit, blackbelt breaking was up next, where Mr Dale Schneibel took second place in a very large division with a display of determination and power. Later in the day, Ms Lynsey Eberle claimed first in her jr blackbelt breaking division, showing excellent focus and energy, with new jr blackbelt Justin Story claiming second behind her. In a separate jr blackbelt division, Mr Nick Uhlich placed 2nd with teammate Austin Hunt taking third.
In underbelt forms, the Alliance Juniors team was championed by Braden Fritel who took second place, competing for the first time in the advanced divisions.
In underbelt breaking, Mr Braden Fritel struck fast and hard to claim first place in his division; younger brother Cameron Lemere secured a third place finish in his intermediate breaking division.
In the sparring divisions the Alliance fighters were on fire. Mr Cameron Lemere, in his first appearance at the intermediate level, sunk all of his challengers in an indisputable run to first place. Mr Braden Fritel and Mr Zach Miller were incorrectly paired against each other early on in their division and Mr Zach was denied an opportunity to fight for first place. Miller made the best of his final match. however; he won the match and claimed third. Mr Braden Fritel picked up the pace and scored with speed and accuracy to cement his right to the first place trophy.
In the jr blackbelt divisions, which were run as continuous matches (rather than stopping to call points), the six Alliance jr blackbelt competitors showed their mettle. Junior Team captain Ms Lynsey Eberle denied all challengers to lay claim to first place in the ladies ring. The new jr blackbelts showed that all their recent training had paid off and that they could go toe-to-toe with the more experienced jr blackbelt competitors. In a very tough boys division, Mr Justin Story suffered his first ever defeat (as an underbelt he was undefeated in eight tournaments) to a 3rd degree jr blackbelt in a very close match; Story was relegated to the match for third place, in which he wouldn’t be denied. Teammate Steven Weigel fought smart and with control, spearing his opponents with kicks that brought him to the match for first and second; he earned himself a well-deserved second place finish just ahead of his teammate. One weight class lower, Mr Austin Hunt edged out teammate Nick Uhlich to claim third place. In a younger jr blackbelt division, Ms Shauna Fairbanks fought some tough matches to come away with second place.
In blackbelt fighting, which was run as two continuous rounds of two minutes each, the Greenquist blackbelts stepped up their game. In what is likely his best combat showing to date, Alliance alumnus Mr Kyle Sanford battled through three opponents to challenge training brother Eric Scharnowske for first place. Both of the fighters displayed power and skill in their first tournament appearance as 2nd dan blackbelts, with Mr Kyle Sanford coming out on top to take first place in a large division.
Alliance would like to thank the Grandmaster Ted Fitzsimmons and the Roughrider Academy for hosting the tournament and providing these opportunities. Alliance would also like to congratulate the competitors on all the hard work and dedication, and thank the parents, instructors and coaches who have supported them. As always, our gratitude goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist for his many years of dedication and instruction, and Great Grandmaster Moo Young Yun for his tireless efforts in the promotion of the martial arts.