A medium sized crew of thirteen competitors from Alliance Taekwondo made the trip out to Detroit Lakes the first weekend of June to compete in the Detroit Lakes Invitational Tournament. Young adult blackbelts Madison and Mason Rud headed up the team, with newest Alliance jr blackbelts Alex Hamilton and Justin LaFavor leading the youth team. Altogether, they claimed twenty-five top three placements and four fourth place honorable mentions. In addition to that, Mr Alex Hamilton took home the Jr Grand Championship trophy, and Ms Madison and Mr Mason fought alongside Mr Bradi Leshovsky to claim the first place trophy in team sparring.
One of the two Alliance junior blackbelt competitors placed in forms; Mr Alex Hamilton earned first place with Koryo, which would send him to the overall blackbelt forms championship to compete with all ages of blackbelts for a grand championship. In adult blackbelt forms, in a large division run with very unusual scoring and placement rules, Mr Mason Rud eked out a third place finish.
In the youth underbelt forms divisions, Alliance saw competitive performances across the board. Andrew Burger competed in one of the older advanced divisions and was awarded a fourth place honorable mention. At one age group younger, Mr Tristian Glass claimed third, with Ms Tatum Spadgenske taking fourth. In a separate division, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer took third as well. Younger still, Mr Kenyon Meissel took first place and in a separate division Mr Clark Schumacher took third. Ms Reese Spadgenske also took third place. In an intermediate division, Mr Kristofer Huck placed second.
In a handful of large breaking divisions, the Alliance competitors had some fun. All in separate advanced underbelt divisions, Mr Andrew Burger secured first place, Mr Reese Spadgenske claimed second place, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer earned third place and Mr Tristian Glass finished in fourth. At the intermediate level, Mr Kristofer Huck took home first place. At the jr blackbelt level, Mr Alex Hamilton won first place with training brother Mr Justin LaFavor taking third in a separate division. At the adult blackbelt level, Mr Mason Rud claimed third place with a creative and powerful routine.
In a handful of large weapons divisions, Ms Madison Rud and Mr Alex Hamilton both earned hardware for their efforts. In the adult blackbelt division, Ms Madison’s performance of Shaolin Quan was strong and earned her a fourth place finish. In the jr blackbelt division, Hamilton performed with his Ii Chul Bong set for the first time and took third.
Kicking off the sparring divisions was the blackbelt team fighting division. Alliance blackbelts Ms Madison Rud and Mr Mason Rud teamed up with Greenquist Academy headquarters blackbelt Mr Bradi Leshovsky to compete against five other teams of three for the team fighting championship trophy. After after three brackets of rough, high-energy matches, the young trio triumphed to claim the championship.
In intermediate sparring, Mr Kristofer Huck denied all comers and claimed first place. In the advanced divisions, Mr Kenyon Meissel and Mr Clark Schumacher battled through separate sides of a bracket to meet in the first place match, with Mr Clark taking first this time and Mr Kenyon placing second. Ms Kaitlyn Retzer fought in a very rough division with a high number of uncalled gam-jeom (penalties), but came through with a second place finish. Mr Tanner LaFavor fought with focus and won second place in his division. Ms Tatum Spadgenske battled frustrating matches and claimed third. In a competitive division of older experienced red belts, training brother Mr Andrew Burger and Mr Tristian Glass battled through opposite sides of a bracket to engage for first; when the dust cleared, Mr Andrew took the top spot with Mr Tristian earned the number two spot right behind him. In a younger advanced division, Ms Reese Spadgenske knifed through all of her opposition to claim first place as well.
In the jr blackbelt divisions, Mr Alex Hamilton and Mr Justin LaFavor both made it to the first place match in their respective divisions, where they both fought skilled competitors from the Detroit Lakes juniors team, both of whom have placed at the national level. Mr Alex Hamilton fought a fast-paced match against Ms Madeleine Volesky, who won a narrow victory in overtime consigning Mr Alex to second place. Mr Justin LaFavor battled Mr Davin Abraham in two continuous rounds, outscoring him to take first place.
After all was said and done at the end of the day, Mr Alex Hamilton accrued enough cumulative points to win the Jr Grand Championship trophy, the ultimate prize for successful competition across all categories. Congratulations, Mr Alex!
Alliance would like to thank Master Lucas Holzhueter for hosting the tournament and providing a solid environment for competition where Alliance students experienced 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.