Alliance Taekwondo fielded a dynamic team for the 2019 Greenquist Championship Invitational. Alliance boasted four adult blackbelt competitors including Dale Schneibel, Kyle Sanford, and Mason and Mads Rud. The juniors team boasted a set of six jr blackbelts; team captains and jr coaches Eddie Lin and Logan King were joined by
Shauna Fairbanks, Justin Lafavor, Andrew Burger and Tristian Glass. Thirteen underbelt competitors also entered the field; Kaitlyn Retzer, Tanner Lafavor, Kenyon Meissel, Tatum Spadgenske, Tyler Glass, Kristofer Huck, Braxton Standaert, Jaden Silveria, Brooklyn Luebke, Jeremiah and Gabriel Whited, Kade Conklin and Tanner Glass.
Alliance took home a total of fifty-nine awards, including eighteen first place finishes, sixteen second place finishes, seven third place finishes, sixteen fourth place honorable mention finishes and two additional non-standard contest wins.
The Masters’ forms division was up first, with Master Devon Waldron taking fourth performing the 5th degree pattern, Sipjin. In separate divisions, Kyle Sanford took fourth and Mads Rud took second. In three separate junior blackbelt divisions, Logan King took first place, Eddie Lin and Justin Lafavor took second place, Shauna Fairbanks took third place and Andrew Burger and Tristian Glass took fourth.
In underbelt forms, thirteen juniors competed. In the advanced divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer claimed a first place finish, as did Mr Tyler Glass in a separate division. Both Mr Tanner Lafavor and Mr Braxton Standaert took second in their respective divisions. Mr Kenyon Meissel placed fourth. At the intermediate level, Mr Jaden Silveria claimed a third place spot. In the beginner divisions, Mr Tanner Glass took first, Mr Gabriel Whited, Mr Kade Conklin and Ms Brooklyn Luebke earned second place wins.
In two different adult blackbelt weapons divisions, twins Mason and Mads Rud took second and fourth, and veteran Kyle Sanford also took fourth. Three Alliance junior blackbelts competed with weapons, showcasing the standard Hapkido Bo Staff set; Mr Logan King and Mr Eddie Lin took third and fourth respectively.
All juniors breaking and underbelt breaking was up next. In a stiff jr blackbelt division, Mr Andrew Burger took first and Mr Eddie Lin claimed fourth. In multiple advanced divisions, Ms Kaitlyn Retzer and Mr Braxton Standaert took first, Mr Kenyon Meissel and Mr Krisofer huck took second, Mr Tanner Lafavor took third and Ms Tatum Spadgenske took fourth. At the intermediate level, Mr Jaden Silveria won first place. Among the beginners, brothers Jeremiah and Gabriel Whited took first in different divisions, while Ms Brooklyn Luebke earned a third place finish and Mr Kade Conklin took fourth.
In a fun set of non-standard events unique to the Greenquist Invitational, competitors participated in belt tying competitions and jump rope competitions. Each division was large and only one award was presented to the top competitor in each category. In jump rope, Mr Eddie Lin smoked the competition within his age group to claim the prize.
In the advanced underbelt sparring divisions, Mr Kristofer Huck lead way with runaway scoring against his opponents to win first place. In another division, Mr Tanner Lafavor showed some of his best fighting to date and also earned a first place finish. Ms Kaitlyn Retzer and Mr Braxton Standaert showed their mettle against bigger opponents and each achieved second place finishes. Mr Kenyon Meissel, Ms Tatum Spadgenske and Mr Tyler Glass battled hard and came away with fourth place finishes.
At the intermediate level, Mr Jaden Silveria stood up well against bigger and more experienced opponents, securing himself a third place finish. Mr Jeremiah Whited was thrown into the same intermediate division despite his beginner status, and managed to claim first place despite the more experience opposition.
In the beginner divisions, Mr Gabriel Whited knifed through his opposition to take first. In a separate division, Ms Brooklyn Luebke speared her opponents with smart kicks to secure first place as well.
In the jr blackbelt divisions, Alliance fighters had some interesting matches. In the smaller of the two size divisions, Mr Eddie Lin overwhelmed his opposition and took first place; in the same division, Mr Tristian Glass took fourth. In the taller division, teammates Justin Lafavor and Andrew Burger fought first, which should never happen in a division that has sufficient competitors to ensure that teammates don’t eliminate each other in the first stage of the bracket. In the next match, Mr Logan King tagged his opponent with a high-skill, legal technique to a legal target with excellent control; however, when his opponent stumbled into the kick increasing the force, Logan was disqualified immediately contrary to explicit tournament rules stating that any hard contact would result in a penalty for the first offense and disqualification for the second. Despite the DQ, he was mysteriously awarded fourth place. Mr Justin went on to fight in the first place match, and finished in second.
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 the men’s division, Mr Dale Schneibel took home first place after showcasing power and timing, with Mr Mason Rud taking second with excellent energy and focus.
A separate breaking event for Masters, in which there are no limits (within reason) to the number of boards, bricks or stations, is also unique to the Greenquist Invitational. Up against a handful of other skilled masters, Alliance Master Devon Waldron again claimed the championship for the third time. Master Devon broke eleven boards and fifteen bricks to claim the Masters’ Breaking Champion award.
Alliance had three adult blackbelts fighting in two separate divisions. In the heavyweight division, Mr Kyle Sanford finished third. Fighting for the first time in the men’s division, Mr Mads Rud took fourth, with brother Mason Rud going one match further along in the bracket to take second.
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 Korean martial arts.