Sterling Judo Club third at state championships

Sterling Judo Club took nine of its 27 members to Anchorage for the recently concluded 56th Annual 2015 State Judo Championships. After the dust settled, the scrappy team finished third among the ten teams from all over the state and team from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Repeating as State Champion was 12-year-old Kaliesha Hart, but this time in an older and heavier division, in fact two older-heavier divisions. The 2015 two-time champion found herself matched up against a much more experienced Abigail Harvey, Fireweed Judo. Abigail, a 2014 State Champ and veteran national’s competitor, defeated Kaliesha earlier in the year. This time, Kaliesha’s hard training and determined style on the mat showed as she took control of her match from the start and never let up. Her second match against Abigail showed even more determination as this was for the gold medal! Her second division was the next older age group and her opponent from McGrath Judo Club had a 28 pound weight advantage in the ordinarily closely matched weight divisions. Again, Kaliesha went undefeated to take home her second 2015 state championship.

Nine-year-old Logan Hart won with three perfect one point throws against three opponents to claim the championship. Brother Walter Haybeck, also 9, finished with second place having two play-off matches to the reigning state champion, Olijah Armstrong, Mt. View Judo. In the same division Walter and his team mate Charles Fairbanks fought a tough match with Walter winning for the silver and Charles with a 2-2 record finishing in third.

The McConnell family made a good showing with 13-year-old Jacob fighting in two divisions, 12-13 middle weight and 13-14 heavy weight, winning a pair of silver medals. Younger brother Nicholas finished behind Jacob in the 11-12 middle weight division bringing home a bronze medal.

In the Holland family, Tannan fought in an open 15-16 year old division. He fought some very scrappy matches against a much heavier opponent and eventual division winner, Christopher Coulson of Capital City Judo. Tannan was awarded the silver medal. His dad and teaching assistant, Clayton Holland and teammate Alex Coxwell both found themselves in a very challenging Masters open division where there was no weight, rank or age limits. Their most formidable opposition came from Ketchikan’s club sensei, Justin Breeze, fourth degree black belt. Breeze was the class of the day’s competition with near textbook perfect throws to win several matches and gold in two divisions. Disappointed not to repeat his 2014 gold medal performance, Clayton nevertheless finished his most challenging fights to date with a bronze medal and Alex, also with great fighting spirit, finished in fourth place. They both agreed that Sterling Judo needs a bunch more men of all weights to train and practice with.

For the first time in the program’s three year history, all 27 of the current Sterling Judo Club members were eligible to compete in the 2015 State Championships.

The Sterling judo season came to an end May 14 with its annual awards banquet at Sterling Elementary School. Twenty-three judo promotion certificates were awarded.

For additional information when the Sterling Judo Club program resumes practices in September at Sterling Elementary School go to the club’s Facebook page or contact Sensei Bob Brink at 242-9330.

— Submitted by Tannan Holland, Club Web Master

More in Life

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show

Traditional ingredients like kimchi, ramen and tofu are mixed with American comfort food Spam in this hearty Korean stew. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Warm up with army base stew

American soldiers introduced local cooks to some American staple ingredients of the time: Spam and hotdogs.

Peninsula Crime: Bad men … and dumb ones — Part 2

Here, in Part Two and gleaned from local newspapers, are a few examples of the dim and the dumb.

Minister’s Message: What if Christ had not been born?

It is now time to look at the work and life of Jesus Christ.

Homemade masa makes the base of these Mexican gorditas. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty trial and error

Homemade gorditas present new cooking challenge.