Locals challenged by tough competition at judo nationals

Matthew Gourlie
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Taryn Montgomery knows that she's close to having a breakthrough on the national judo stage.

Taryn Montgomery poses with her Judo Sask Most Improved Female Athlete award and her Female under-18 nomination award.

Montgomery finished seventh at the the Canadian Junior Nationals in Saguenay, Que. this past week.

"I'm pleased with how I fought, but I was hoping to do better than I did," said Montgomery.

She finished with a win and two losses in the under-18 Cadet women under-57 kg category. Montgomery trains with the Regina YMCA and was in the same weight class Moose Jaw's other representative at junior nationals — Tallissa Edwards from the Moose Jaw Koseikan Club.

Edwards lost both of her fights and each competitor lost to one of the bronze medalists.

For Montgomery, it was that loss to bronze medalist Manon Reglat-Arzate that showed her how close she is to be right there with the best in the country.

"I know I can compete with the three girls who won medals," she said.

Montgomery lost her opening match to Anne Martin from Québec.

Edwards lost her opening match to Jasmine Pitsilis from Québec.

Dropping down to the consolation side Montgomery beat Edwards via waza-ari — the second most decisive victory after an ippon.

"It's not something I would have wanted," said Montgomery of facing Edwards. "When you go to nationals you don't want to go up against another girl from Sask."

Montgomery lost to Reglat-Arzate via ippon and finished seventh.

Pitsilis and Reglat-Arzate both won bronze medals.

Now the two local competitors are training with national team coaches for three days as they looked to continue to improve.

"We have two training sessions a day for an hour and a half each. We have quite a few really experienced coaches Ewan Beaton, Nancy Filteau, and Sasha Mehmedovic," said Montgomery.

Mehmedovic competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics, while Nancy Jewitt-Filteau — a former Moose Jaw resident — competed at the 1996 Olympic Games.

Brandon Morrison from Lloydminster finished second in the under-16 uner-73 kg male division and Mike Horvey from the Regina YMCA was second in the under-18 kg U16 division.

Lloydminster's Brette Poliakiwski was third in the under-52 kg junior female class, while Jesse Stringer from Vibank was also third in the over-90 kg junior men's division.

Organizations: Canadian Junior Nationals

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saguenay, Québec Sask.

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