After a less-than-spectacular showing at the Sask Open Cadet and Juvenile provincial championships two weeks ago, the Moose Jaw Koseikan Club went looking for redemption this past weekend in Prince Albert.
And that's exactly what they found.
Members of the club turned in a host of solid performances on their way to winning two classes along with claiming two silver medals in the youth division.
After failing to win a single class in the Open, that was welcome vindication.
"It was a lot better, there were a lot of kids who had much better weekends and it really showed in the results," said Koseikan head instructor Cliff Wiens. "Before the Open the kids were preparing for their belt tests, so our focus was on that more than anything else but this weekend we were right back on track."
Two of the top showings came from Amy Hughes, who won the Cadet girls under-34 kg division, and Chad Griffin, who lost his first bout before reeling off four straight victories and taking first in the Cadet boys under-34 kg class.
"After he lost that first one he really came on and did a great job the rest of the way," Wiens said. "He's definitely one of the up and comers, there are a few kids here who are in that 9-10 range who look like they'll be ones to watch in the next few years."
Shaylea Locken and John Morin are among that group, as they both posted 3-2 records on their way to second place finishes in the Cadet girls and boys under-38 kg divisions respectively.
"Judo is like anything else, it goes in cycles and if this group we have coming up keep doing as well as they have, we should be seeing a lot more of these results," Wiens said.
As for the club's older contingent, it was business as usual as Garth Rivers won the Senior men under-66 kg class with a 3-1 record, Dave Guthrie took second in the Senior men under-90 kg class and Josh Wiens finished won silver in the Senior men over-100 kg division.
Guthrie's showing was especially impressive in that while he posted a 3-2 record, two of those victories were over two of the top fighters in the province in Vibank's Chris Dornstauder and Regina's Brett Nielsen, both perennial national competitors.
"Dave's really been coming on lately, and that's just a product of how hard he works in the club and how dedicated he is," Wiens said. "He's a competitor, too, it doesn't matter how experienced someone is, he doesn't back down and that's only going to help him in the future."
Guthrie's success hasn't gone unnoticed, either - he will join Josh Wiens and Jeremy Williams at the national championships May 21- 22 in St. John's Nfld.
Local competitors will also be in action at the Northern Alberta Open in Edmonton, as Mac Senger and Steven Trudel will compete in the event as part of the Judo Sask Canada Games selection trials. Koseikan instructor Jim Wiens will take part in the event as a coach with the provincial squad, and Locken will attend as part of the program's goodwill exchange.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Apr. 9, 2005