Alliance Taekwondo brought a solid team with some old veterans and some up and coming students to the 2015 Greenquist Championship Invitational, with seven underbelt competitors and seven black belt competitors. Alliance juniors and veterans Shauna Fairbanks and Braden Fritel were joined by underbelts Eddie Lin, Logan King, Justin Lafavor, Andrew Burger, Rowan Fleischer-Daugherty and Alex Hamilton. Together with adult underbelt competitor Madison Rud, they claimed sixteen places and three honorable mentions. Five adult blackbelts including Lynsey Eberle, Logan Olson and Kyle Sanford, as well as instructors Tammy Fairbanks and Dale Schneibel, took home nine awards and two honorable mentions.
The Masters’ forms division were first, with Master Devon Waldron taking fourth and Alliance alumnus Master Charles Smith taking first. Blackbelt forms followed; Mr Dale Schneibel took third place in his division with his presentation of Taebek, and Mr Kyle Sanford received a fourth place honorable mention in a large forms division with a powerful display of Kumgang. In a highly competitive division of young ladies, Ms Lynsey Eberle claimed yet another forms first place. In separate junior blackbelt divisions, Ms Shauna Fairbanks and Mr Braden Fritel both earned honorable mentions with fourth place finishes.
In underbelt forms, five juniors and one adult competed. In an advanced division, Mr Eddie Lin earned himself a 3rd place finish. In three separate beginner divisions Andrew Burger, Rowan Fleischer-Daugherty and Alex Hamilton placed fourth, third and first, respectively.
In breaking, Mr Braden Fritel took second, picking up the pace after missing his first kick. In the underbelt divisions Mr Eddie Lin and Mr Alex Hamilton each secured third place in their respective divisions.
In a fun event unique to the Greenquist Invitational, all competitors were encouraged to participate in a belt-tying competition to see which competitors could tie their belts fastest – correctly. We had one student take first for his age group – Mr Alex Hamilton earned himself the only trophy awarded for tying his belt correctly faster than anyone else in his divisions.
In a separate breaking event, the Jay Halvorson Memorial Trophy was up for grabs to the person breaking the most stacked boards with a single knifehand strike. After winning last year for the first time, Mr Dale Schneibel of Alliance slammed through seven boards without issue. After the seven board round, he and another challenger went head to head in an eight board contest. While Schniebel only broke three of the eight boards, that was three more than his challenger and so he claimed the Memorial Trophy for the second year in a row.
Throughout the event a group of students, family and friends – headed up by Karmen and Megan Sanford – ran a table selling Team Caleb bracelets. We were able to raise funds to help Caleb and his family recover and adapt after Caleb’s injury. A big thank you goes out to all of you who helped run the table and sell the bracelets, and to everybody who bought them or donated to support this effort. Another big thank you goes out to Grandmaster Eric Greenquist who facilitated the sales table and has been supportive throughout.
In the underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Logan King edged out Mr Eddie Lin for the chance to fight for first place in their advanced division. Mr Eddie claimed third place with a win in his final match. In a rough match for first and second that ended with good sportsmanship, King came away with the second place medal. In an intermediate division, Mr Justin Lafavor went undefeated to claim first place. In an older intermediate division, Ms Madison Rud fought hard and secured a third place finish in her first tournament showing. In the beginner divisions, Mr Andrew Burger slammed through a number of opponents to claim his third first place finish in sparring in as many tournaments. In a separate, younger beginner division, Mr Alex Hamilton went two and one to claim the third place spot.
In the jr blackbelt divisions, Ms Shauna Fairbanks and Mr Braden Fritel competed in separate divisions. Fairbanks fought smart and sharp, again defeating much more imposing competitors to claim third. Fritel also fought well, loosing only one match to an up-and-comping Detroit Lakes junior blackbelt; Fritel really opened up in his final match and secured a third place finish.
Adult blackbelt breaking was the second to last event of the day, and consisted of two rings of black belts setting up breaking sequences of up to ten boards each. In a strange under eighteen division in which adult blackbelts broke re-breakable boards, Mr Logan Olson took second and Ms Lynsey Eberle took fourth. In the full on adult blackbelt breaking, four of our Alliance blackbelts demonstrated their skill in a division of nearly twenty competitors; all showed well, and Olson was a mere board away from earning a placement.
The black belt fighting divisions were divided into under eighteen men, under eighteen women, lightweight men, heavyweight men, and women. In the under eighteen divisions, Mr Logan Olson won his match against skilled Roughrider opponent David Knoll, but was defeated by two time Minnesota state champion and national competitor Cameron Kerns of Detroit Lakes. Olson went on to snipe a clean head kick in his final round to clinch the win and claim third place. Ms Lynsey Eberle cleaned up in the under eighteen women’s division, showing that hard work pays off and not giving up a single point on her way to claiming first place. Mr Kyle Sanford again battled Master Lucas Holzhueter for first place in the heavyweight division, showing us some of his best fighting to date with the seasoned master and taking second overall in the heavyweight division. Holzhueter moved on to face third degree blackbelt and director of Bozeman Taekwondo Bobby Cisco; in an upset, Cisco defeated Holzhueter by a single point for the chance to challenge the current title holder for the championship belt. In a close match, Alliance alumnus Master Charles Smith edged out Cisco to retain his claim on the championship title belt.
Alliance would like to thank the Greenquist Academy for hosting the tournament and providing a wonderful environment for competition and both team and personal growth. We would also like to congratulate the entire team on all the hard work, 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 martial arts.