Alliance Taekwondo attended the 2017 Roughrider Invitational Championship on October 21st. Alliance fielded a team twenty-four competitors strong, including blackbelts Kyle Sanford, Austin Hunt, Tanner Olson and Madison and Mason Rud; the youth team was lead by junior blackbelts Braden Fritel, Eddie Lin and Logan King; underbelt competitors included Alex Hamilton, Justin and Tanner LaFavor, Tristian Glass, Andrew Burger, Kaitlyn Retzer, Amber and Casey McGrath, Tatum and Reese Spadgenske, Kenyon Meissel, Clark Schumacher, Dyllan Heidt, Hudson Tooke, Gavin Kutzer and Kristofer Huck. The Alliance team claimed thirty-seven trophies in total, including ten first place wins, fourteen second place awards and thirteen third place finishes.
In a rough day for Alliance blackbelt forms competitors, Madison Rud was the only adult to claim a top-three spot, bringing home a second place trophy in her division. In the jr blackbelt division, Braden Fritel claimed third with a performance of Kumgang.
In underbelt forms, advanced competitors took home trophies in three separate divisions. Alex Hamilton took first in his division with teammate Tristian Glass taking second. In two separate divisions, Andrew Burger and Tatum Spadgenske both took third. At the intermediate level, Mr Kenyon Meissel took first, Mr Clark Schumacher took second and newcomer Ms Dyllan Heidt also claimed a second place spot, all in separate divisions. In beginner forms, Mr Kristofer Huck won first place in his first tournament appearance; in a separate division newcomer Casey McGrath took second and Mr Gavin Kutzer took third.
In underbelt weapons, Mr Eddie Lin’s sturdy performance of the Hapkido bo-staff set earned him third place in his division.
In breaking, junior underbelts Mr Alex Hamilton and Ms Tatum Spadgenske took home awards in two advanced divisions; Hamilton placed second, while in a separate division Spadgenske took third. In separate intermediate divisions, Mr Kenyon Meissel and Ms Reese Spadgenske took home third place finishes. In the beginner divisions, newcomers Mr Kristopher Huck and Mr Casey McGrath placed third in their respective divisions.
In the always competitive jr blackbelt divisions, Mr Braden Fritel showcased some explosive power and won second, while Mr Eddie Lin slammed his way to second in a separate division. In the adult blackbelt divisions, blackbelts Mr Austin Hunt and Mr Mason Rud showed solid striking and youthful energy to claim first place and third place respectively.
In the sparring divisions, the Alliance underbelts faced some tenacious competition. In the teen girls division, Ms Amber McGrath showed verve and fire and claimed first. In an older advanced division, teammates Mr Andrew Burger and Mr Justin LaFavor battled through opposite legs of the same bracket to fight each other for first place. In a close match that went into overtime, Burger ended up earning the final point to claim first, with teammate LaFavor taking a respectable second. In a younger advanced division, Tristian Glass fought fast and smart and claimed first, with teammate Alex Hamilton taking third in the same division after three long, rough matches. In the intermediate divisions, Ms Reese Spadgenske fought an exhausting series of four matches and won them all to claim first. Mr Kenyon Meissel showed some of his best and most adaptable fighting yet and Mr Clark Schumacher battled hard all the way into double overtime in his last match; both took home second place trophies. Ms Dyllan Heidt also battled her way to second place in her first competitive fighting appearance. At the beginner level, Mr Kristofer Huck earned first place in his first sparring division, showing that the newest members of Alliance are carrying on our competitive reputation.
The junior blackbelt division was rough and aggressive as always; Alliance’s junior team co-captains battled hard. Mr Braden Fritel gunned through his opponents with strategy and speed to secure first place, and Mr Eddie Lin’s performance earned him third place.
Blackbelt fighting was two rounds of two-minute continuous fighting and scoring per match. In their first appearance as blackbelt fighters, twins Madison and Mason Rud did Alliance proud. In the women’s divisions, Ms Madison Rud battled seasoned fighters and earned her way to the first place match, where she lost to Master Naomi Even-Aberle of Rapid City in a gritty finish and claimed the worthy second place spot. In the over eighteen men’s divisions, Mr Mason Rud waded his way through his opponents to have a chance at first place; though close, Rud finished with a very respectable second place. In the fighting highlight of the day, Mr Austin Hunt burned through his opponents to claim first place in an undeniably dominant performance.
Alliance would like to thank the Roughrider Academy and Grandmaster Ted Fitzsimmons for hosting the tournament and providing these opportunities. 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 Korean martial arts.