Looking to make the jump

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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National stage could be next for local judo competitors

Eleven members of the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club tasted some elite competition this past weekend.

William German, right, from the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club competes against Jonah Dray from Drayton Valley (Alta.) Judo Club at the Edmonton International Judo Championship.

Now, for some of the older competitors, the question is: can they build off of a good weekend and establish themselves on the national level.

Eryn Langdon won gold in the under-18/21 women under-44 kilogram class at the Edmonton International Judo championship. Brooke German won silver in the under-18 under-70 kg class and bronze in the senior women under-70 kg class. Tallissa Edwards won bronze in the under-18 women under-63 kg category.

Moose Jaw's Taryn Montgomery, who trains at the Regina YMCA club, came home with a silver medal in her category.

Koseikan coach Dan Orescanin was pleased with the performance of Edwards and German who both competed as under-18s and in the senior women.

"Tallissa fought really well. She's fighting better every tournament. That's where she needs to be right now. She's starting to decide if she wants to really commit to that high performance training. It's the same thing with Brooke. We talked to them about it a little this weekend," said Orescanin. "It's decision time for them about how much they want to commit because the next step is a big one."

Both will be trying to earn a trip The Canadian Judo Championships will be held in Saguenay, Que. from May. 15-18. The both will also be looking at competing at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, which is less than a year away.

Their placing at major tournaments like the Edmonton International — which is held at the West Edmonton Mall — will help determine their chances of making either provincial team.

"This would be part of their required tournaments to be selected for nationals and also for the Canada Games," he said. "They both fought as U18s, but they also fought in the senior women's category to get that tougher experience."

The Koseikan sent a big team of competitors to the tournament.

William German (under-10 boys Group 16), Carter Craik (under-12 boys Group 15), Justin Wiens (under-12 boys Group 15), Damien Wiens (under-14 boys -38 kg), Creedence Mike (under-14 boys -46 kg), Nikola Orescanin (under-14 boys -55 kg), Sara Wiens (under-14 girls -48 kg) and Hailey Glover (under-14 girls +57 kg) also competed.

"The tournament grows every year," said Orescanin. "There was close to 800 competitors this year from all over the place. It's really becoming a really high-calibre tournament. It's a really good test to see where were at and what we need to work on before nationals."

The Koseikan traditionally sent more of its older judoka to compete, but this time around had a number of younger competitors gaining experience.

"That's where the tournament is really growing. There was 100 more competitors in the under-10 category than there was last year. That's good for judo. It means there are a lot of young people involved and hopefully they'll stay with the sport," said Orescanin.

Organizations: Edmonton International Judo, Canada Games

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saguenay, Canada Edmonton

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