Gateway Judo Tournament 2016

2016-gateway-judo-invitational-championships-9The 6th annual Gateway Invitational Judo Championships got underway at the Overland Community Center in Overland, Missouri on October 1, 2016. Tournament director, Derick Wellman had worked countless hours building this event into one of the most competitive judo tournaments in the Midwest region. Dan Dillion and player/coach Anthony Weeks guided Team White Dragon for this event. In the junior category, Hayden Gost made his tournament debut. “The Big Gost” maintained an offensive strategy in route to a bronze medal. The youngest of the Fajor clan, Dina Fajor, made a name for herself in her tournament debut. Still a work in progress, Dina displayed massive determination needed to be successful in this martial art. She took home a bronze medal. Fred Heidmann won silver in his first shiai. Ryland Darevsky, executed great newaza that was good enough for bronze in his debut. In a weight class that he was clearly the underdog, Issac Valdez De Soto pulled off three epic upset victories to collect his third consecutive Gateway Judo Tourney gold medal. Issac’s gold medal match was one of the most exciting matches in the history of this event. Clearly behind by a wazari, Valdez De Soto executed a splendid koshi guruma with time running out to win the match. Julius Amann grinded out a bronze medal in his second tournament of the year. Alex Halon finished third in the junior middleweight class. Jeric Gumahin had a busy day against strong opposition. Despite the obstacles he took silver home for the day. Riesen Riley rebounded from her third place finish at this year’s Konjo Dojo Judo Fall Championships. She went undefeated and was all smiles when she stood no. 1 on the medal stand. Saba Fajor went 3-1 on the day and placed second in her division. Manareldeen Fajors picked his opponents apart with his relentless attacks. He collected his third consecutive gold medal of the year. In the senior division, Taylor Brown displayed a well rounded judo game going 2-1 on the day and a silver medal in her White Dragon debut. It was a rough but positive learning experience for Dennis Williams in his first shiai. Although he did not medal, the ambitious young judoka showed raw potential and a desire to learn. Veronica Booker took home bronze in her third tournament. Adam Young won silver in light heavyweight category. After a two year hiatus from this event, Demonn Smith won gold in the senior2016-gateway-judo-invitational-championships-51 heavyweight category. In the gold medal match, the veteran hit a nice sasae tsuri komi ashi to osaekomi and hung on for the victory. Philip Vojta had his slingshot out for this tournament. He continues to improve and tally up a list of upset victories. He collected his second consecutive gold of the year. In the veterans division, Jay Baker placed second respectfully. Glen Trotter took gold in the middleweight division. Dan Raney displayed superior newaza in route to a gold medal in the veteran heavyweight class. The MVP of the tournament was Anthony Weeks. “The fighting patriarch of TEAM 3D” mauled the competition in the open division taking gold and convincingly going undefeated in this tournament.

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