EBJI Students Capture Nine Medals, Including Five Gold, at 2002 US Judo Jr. National Championships
The 2002 US Judo Federation Jr., Youth, Team, and Kata National Championships were held in Sacramento,
CA 5-8 July 2002. Approximately 771 contestants ages 7-19 competed for top spots in what is recognized
as the toughest junior national tournament in this country.
East Bay Judo Institute students had outstanding performances at this year’s championships, capturing five
gold medals, two silver medals, and two bronze medals, demonstrating once again that it is one of the country’s
finest judo programs. Leading off for EBJI on day one was Jessica Hsieh, 16, who took care of two opponents in
the Juvenile B under 48 kilograms division, dispatching them in solid fashion to garner a gold medal. This tournament
was especially important for Hsieh as it was her first after major knee surgery, and having trained for only six weeks.
Next up was Marti Malloy, 16, competing in the Juvenile B under 57 kilograms division. In the first round, Malloy
was trounced by longtime rival Ronda Rousey, the eventual gold medallist. Mallow then dropped to the loser’s bracket,
where she had to climb through to place. She subsequently beat five opponents in a row to take a silver medal.
On day two, Stephanie Hata, 17, 2002 US High School National champion, met her rival Alexandra Causey in the
first round of the Youth under 48 kgs division. Hata played a perfect technical match, giving her the win. She
went on in round two to compete against teammate Hsieh, who doubled up in this division. Hata beat Hsieh by throwing
her for ippon or full point, the equivalent of a knock out in boxing, with seoinage or shoulder throw. The win
secured the gold medal for Hata. Hsieh finished in third, losing to Causey in a close and tough match.
Veronica Castillo, 13, competed in the Juvenile A under 57 kgs division, and breezed through three opponents to
take her first gold medal in national competition. Teammate Dale Hata, 13, competing in the Juvenile A under 53 kgs
division, lost his first round match to Nick Delcopolo, the eventual gold medallist, but came back to win four
straight to set up a final match determining the silver and bronze medallists. Hata lost the match, settling for a
bronze medal to add to his silver medal performance last year.
Marija Djokic, 17, competing in the Youth under 63 kgs division, easily took care of her two opponents to secure
her first gold medal in this division. Molly O’Rourke, 19, also handily won her two matches to capture her gold
medal in the Youth over 78 kgs division.
Marti Malloy, doubling in the Youth under -57 kgs division, won her first round match against Amber Iterralde
of Sacramento before running into rival Rousey, who once again got the best of Malloy. Malloy then dropped to
the loser’s bracket and won four straight matches to capture her second silver medal.
EBJI members Robert Cohea, 14, and Phillip Lau, 16, also competed at the event, and turned in gutsy performances.
The East Bay Judo Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the teaching of Kodokan Judo. It’s head
instructor is Dr. David Matsumoto, 6th degree black belt. For information about classes, schedules, location,
and contact information, see www.ebji.org or call 510-237-0607.