October 4, 2005
h3>Oct. 1:U.S. Athletes Win 13 Medals
U.S. Athletes Win 13 Medals on First Day of U.S. Open
(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) ? Ronda Rousey (Scotia, N.Y./63kg) was
more than a little familiar with her finals opponent, Ikumi Tanimoto (JPN) at
the U.S. Open Judo Championships Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In fact, last week the two matched up at the Rendez-Vous Canada in Montreal
with Rousey taking the gold medal and Tanimoto changing her plane ticket home
in favor of a trip to Fort Lauderdale for the U.S. Open and another chance at
the 2004 World Junior Champion.
Rousey came out as the clear aggressor of the match, scoring points early before
throwing Tanimoto for ippon (instant win)
"I was just trying to keep my hands down and fight well," Rousey
said of her final match. "My head was a lot more into it this week and
the home crowd was awesome."
And when asked if she thought Tanimoto regretted the extra leg of her trip,
Rousey laughed: "It?s not like Fort Lauderdale?s in the middle of nowhere!"
Rousey?s 2005 World Championships teammate Katie Mocco (Scotia, N.Y./70kg)
secured her first U.S. Open title, scoring waza-ari with a foot sweep
on Emilie-Claude Leroux (CAN) with a minute remaining in the gold medal final
and pinning her for ippon.
After her win, an elated Mocco ran off the mat into a bearhug from her coach
Jason Morris (Scotia, N.Y.)
"I really want to thank my coach Jason Morris because without him none
of this would have been possible," Mocco said.
Anthony Turner (Miami, Fla./+100kg) secured the final
gold medal for the day, defeating Canadian Travis McAlpine by ippon (instant
Turner proved that he was one of the best conditioned athletes in his heavyweight
division throughout both prelims and finals.
"I really have to credit my coaches Juan Carlos Santana of the Human Performance
Institute and Rhadi Ferguson of Into-Combat," Turner said. "They?ve
given me an awesome program and the difference it?s made has been great."
Nine other U.S. athletes stood on the podium Saturday, including silver medalist
Denis Utkin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who lost a close decision to Alexandru
Ciupe (CAN) in the final as well as the following bronze medalists: Kayla
Harrison (Middletown, Ohio/63kg), Jaclyn Feuerschwenger (Linden, N.J./70kg),
Molly O?Rourke (El Cerrito, Calif./78kg), Eva Smith (Fall River, Mass./+78kg),
Olympian Rick Hawn (Wakefield, Mass./81kg), Aaron Cohen, (Buffalo
Grove, Ill./81kg), Daniel McCormick (Arlington, Texas/+100kg) and
Jonathan Leonhardt (San Jose, Calif./+100kg).
Cohen, a 2005 World Team member, recovered well from an early round loss to
Alex Emond (CAN) to battle his way to the repechage where he faced Bandi Davaadorj
(MON). Cohen threw Davaadorj for what looked to be an ippon, but scored only
as waza-ari (half point) during the first minute of the match.
"I really thought I had the ippon because his back hit flat on the mat,
but then I saw it was waza-ari and thought: ?Please change the scoreboard!?"
Cohen said. "That?s always the hardest thing when you score like that early
because now the other person doesn?t have anything to lose and you know you?re
in for a long match."
Indeed, the match ran a full five minutes, but Cohen defended well, winning
This weekend?s matches are Cohen?s last for at least four months as he will
be having reconstructive surgery on Anterior Crucial Ligaments in both knees.
"I haven?t had ACLs in both of my knees for three years and I just kept
fighting rather than having the surgery," he said. "It?s really hard
though because I was never in top shape and always felt like I was at a disadvantage
since I was worried about having one of them give out."
O?Rourke was the fourth member of the 2005 World Team to earn a medal, throwing
Yildirim Zarife (TUR) for ippon three minutes into the match.
"The match could?ve gone better. I kept getting my grip and then losing
it, but I?m happy with the result," O?Rourke said. "Two years ago
I finished seventh here and last year I finished fifth, so this is great."
Results are as follows:
1. Ronda Rousey (Scotia, N.Y.)
2. Ikumi Tanimoto (JPN)
3. Kayla Harrison (Middletown, Ohio)
3. Jessica Garcia (PUE)
5. Kristen Allen (Springfield, Va.)
5. Isabelle Pearson (CAN)
1. Katie Mocco (Scotia, N.Y.)
2. Emilie-Claude Leroux (CAN)
3. Jaclyn Feuerschwenger (Linden, N.J.)
3. Fraser Bowslaugh (CAN)
5. Tomoyo Yoshinaga (Warrenville, Ill.)
5. Kathleen Sell (Oshkosh, Wis.)
1. Marylise Levesque (CAN)
2. Andree Bijould (CAN)
3. Molly O?Rourke (El Cerrito,
3. Leidi German (DOM)
5. Yildirim Zarife (TUR)
5. Chiao-Wen Chen (Chinese Taipei)
1. Kei Eguchi (JPN)
2. Melissa Mojica (PUE)
3. Eva Smith (Fall River, Mass.)
3. Olia Berger (CAN)
5. Charmaine Alsager (Black Earth, Wis.)
5. Sylvia Hausot (CAN)
1. Tyler Boras (CAN)
2. Alexandre Emond (CAN)
3. Rick Hawn (Wakefield, Mass.)
3. Aaron Cohen (Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
5. Travis Stevens (Tacoma, Wash.)
5. Bandi Davaadorj (MON)
1. Bobby Rich (GBR)
2. Sylwester Gawel (POL)
3. Maxime Roberge (CAN)
3. Adam Daniel (ROM)
5. Michael Pedro (Lynn, Mass.)
5. Maje Omagbaluwaje (NGR)
1. Alexandru Ciupe (CAN)
2. Denis Utkin (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Carlos Santiago (PUE)
3. Scott Edward (CAN)
5. Thierry Lemair (CAN)
5. Carl Trottier (CAN)
Men +100 kg
1. Anthony Turner (Miami, Fla.)
2. Travis McAlpine (CAN)
3. Daniel McCormick (Arlington, Texas)
3. Jonathan Leonhardt (San Jose, Calif.)
5. Claudio Zupo (MEX)
5. Pablo Figueroa (PUE)
Valerie Gotay, Veronica Prado Win U.S. Open During Day 2
(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) ? An early look at the draw sheet for Valerie
Gotay?s (Temecula, Calif./57kg) potential lineup of opponents at Sunday?s
U.S. Open Judo Championships showed that it was going to be a long day ? startingwith
an opening match against 2003 World Championships bronze medalist Danielle Zangrando
Gotay defeated the Brazilian in her first of three victories before the gold
medal match where she met 19-year-old Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif.),
a bronze medalist at this year?s National Championships.
Gotay threw Malloy quickly for yuko (quarter-point), but Malloy continued to
fight well, scoring a yuko as well two minutes later, but couldn?t hold off
the 1992 Olympian who won the match by ippon (instant win).
"I knew it was going to be a tough day and that Marti would do well, but
I was really surprised by how strong she was," Gotay said.
The win is Gotay?s second medal in a week after taking bronze at last week?s
Rendez-Vous Canada. Earlier this month she placed ninth at the World Championships
in Cairo and secured one of the top finishes for an American.
"I had a really hard time getting up for this tournament, coming off of
Rendez-Vous last week and Worlds before that I wasn?t really motivated coming
into today, but I?m happy to have been able to pull everything together in the
end," she said.
Fortunately for the 31-year-old, the U.S. Open is her last major tournament
for the next few months before the European season begins in December.
"It?s always really hard to leave your kids on another trip, so I?m looking
forward to a break," Gotay said. "I?ll still be training, but it?ll
be nice to be back home."
Veronica Prado (North Lauderdale, Fla./44kg) also won gold,
defeating her Ki-Itsu-Sai Judo Club teammate Daimisy Porras (North Lauderdale,
Fla.) in the first two matches of their round-robin.
In addition to Gotay and Prado, three other Americans qualified for the gold
medal finals, with each laying claim to a silver medal.
Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo./73kg) was the victim of
the finals upset of the day as he lost the final to rival Nicholas Tritton (CAN).
Reser and Tritton have fought against each other numerous times, including
last week at the Rendez-Vous as well as last year?s U.S. Open final, with Reser
coming out on top every time until Sunday when Tritton won their five-minute
Reser and Gotay?s World Championship teammate Taraje Williams-Murray
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) was looking for his first U.S. Open title in his final
match against James Millar (GBR), but loss on a close bout on a penalty.
Andrew Taylor (Plano, Texas) also had a close final match
against Carlos Tenesaca (ECU), leading throughout before getting thrown for
ippon with 45 seconds on the clock.
U.S. bronze medalists included:
Ann Shiraishi (Elk Grove, Calif.), Sayaka Matsumoto
(El Cerrito, Calif.), Carrie Chandler (Scotia, N.Y.),
Hiram Cruz (Jacksonville, Fla.), Kenny Hashimoto (Northglenn,
Colo.) and Radu Brestyan (Medway, Mass.)
Nicholas Tritton (CAN) and Alexandra Dumitru (ROM) were named as Outstanding
Male and Female Players, respectively.
Results are as follows:
1. Veronica Prado (North Lauderdale, Fla.)
2. Daimisy Porras (North Lauderdale, Fla.)
1. Alexandra Dumitru (ROM)
2. Isabel Latulippe (CAN)
3. Ann Shiraishi (Elk Grove, Calif.)
3. Sayaka Matsumoto (El Cerrito, Calif.)
5. Lolita Dagher (CAN)
5. Bianca Ockendal (CAN)
1. Aluas Iona-Maria (ROM)
2. Kimi Suda (CAN)
3. Carrie Chandler (Scotia, N.Y.)
3. Jayne Clason (GBR)
5. Louise Renicks (GBR)
5. Franchesca Durand (North Lauderdale, Fla.)
1. Valerie Gotay (Temecula, Calif.)
2. Marti Malloy (San Jose, Calif.)
3. Joliane Melancon (CAN)
3. Francoise Nguele (CAN)
5. Bridgette Taennler (SUI)
5. Shana Sugiura (San Jose, Calif.)
1. Carlos Tenesaca (ECU)
2. Andrew Taylor (Plano, Texas)
3. Julien Paradis (CAN)
3. Hiram Cruz (Jacksonville, Fla.)
5. Jeremy Williams (CAN)
5. Enrique Cruz (MEX)
1. James Millar (GBR)
2. Taraje Williams-Murray (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Philip Rogan (GBR)
3. Aarturo Ceniceros (MEX)
5. Juan Barahona (ECU)
5. Gonzalo Ibanez (CAN)
1. Roberto Ibanez (ECU)
2. Daniel Santos (BRA)
3. Kenny Hashimoto (Northglenn, Colo.)
3. Michal Popiel (CAN)
5. Taylor Takata (Brownsville, Texas)
5. Jean-Pierre Choy (North Lauderdale, Fla./PER)
1. Nicholas Tritton (CAN)
2. Ryan Reser (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
3. Alessandro Colli (BRA)
3. Radu Brestyan (Medway, Mass.)
5. Melvin Mendez (PUE)
5. Daniel Irvine (CAN)