PRO TKD captures 87 medals at U.S. Open Championships
The nation’s largest martial arts celebration, the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang Championships held in Colorado Springs at the World Arena, once again drew martial artists and archers from around the nation and world.
The Roaring Fork Valley was represented by the PRO TKD Martial Arts Center with 33 competitors capturing 87 medals. The 39 gold, 34 silver and 14 bronze were won mostly by families that train together. The PRO TKD demo team, comprising mostly moms and their children with ages ranging 6-48 years old, won silver under the coaching skills of Steve Perez. The Team Creative Forms was won by three moms, black belt Caroline Oswald of Basalt, red belt Heather Greengrass of Missouri Heights and blue belt Heidi Kiser of Glenwood.
The Oswald family — all black belts: mom Carolyn, son Gus and daughter Emily — won 15 medals. Team Greengrass — Heather, Lana and Jayla — captured nine medals. Team Kiser — Heidi, Jackson, Banyon and Jane — added 14 medals to the count.
Dr. Maker and son Tristan, both black belts from Carbondale, secured 10 more for the count. Matt Kennedy and daughter Aberdeen added seven more, while mother and son black belts Emelia and Cris Aguilar won six. Mother and son Joelle and Austin Fotion added three more for the team.
First-timers in Team Snell, made up of mom Joanne with daughters Ruby and Leilani, performed a family creative and added three silvers while representing with the youngest competitor at age 5. Husband and wife Steve and Katie Perez added three more golds to the total.
Individual winners for the PRO TKD Team were Emma Baumli with two medals, Joy Bouchet (1), Devon Creer (1), Daniel Farias (1), Celeste Fullerton (3), Logan Hermes (1), Daniel Kapustka (1), Colton Maguran (3), Gabriel Swift (1) and Team Master Instructor Master Fuechsel with three golds.
Friday and Saturday’s World Arena competitions opened with speeches by Miss USA Nia Sanchez, who holds a master level in Taekwondo, and Women’s Power Breaking world champion Master Sloane Cameron of Eugene, Oregon.
Cameron will represent the United States at the World Championships in Korea in August. This represents the first time for Women’s Power Breaking to be included, and Cameron, the current world record holder of 11 one-inch boards with a back kick, is favored to win. Sunday’s Archery competition wrapped up the Championships at the Cheyenne Mountain State Park and Archery range.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.