Our Junior Team made up of 4 first time competitors Sasha Ito, Kaito Cheng, Mika Iwai and Nano Estrada fought some feisty matches led by the veteran of the group Kenta Muramatsu who also placed third in his individual category (11–12 years). Hopefully he’ll be available to pick up a trophy next time. The future looks bright for this group and we are looking forward to more success in the future. Christopher Lam also took home a third place trophy for his hard work in the 15 years and under category.
In the non-degree divisions, Brian Moromisato placed third in the 0–4 Kyu division in his first ever tournament competition. In what many would consider a surprise, Steveston was shut out in the 1–3 Kyu division, a division which the club has dominated over the last couple of years.
The Steveston women looked strong again as Katherine Lam placed third in the shodan and under category. In what can be considered as a mild upset, Wendy Robillard-sensei placed second in the 2-Dan and over division, losing 2–1 in a close final match.
Our elite women kenshi banded together with Roger Knecht to form the Steveston Senior “C” team. Although they were “man”-handled in the second round, our girls all fought hard and showed a lot of guts and courage.
Ryan Murao showed once again that he is a force in the 1–2 dan category defeating kenshi from all over the Pacific Northwest over 8 rounds of competition to take first place. Ian Miki turned back the clock for a few hours Saturday afternoon cruising through the 3-dan category until he ran into a more youthful competitor from the Southern California Kendo Federation in the final match. Both members kept their aggressive spirit going in the Senior Team matches making up 2/5 of the second place Steveston Senior “A” team with Isao Takagaki and veterans Neal Nakano-sensei and Terry Kondo-sensei. The team looked great through their first 3 matches, but was finally beaten in the finals by the Southern California “B” team.
In other team news, an honorable mention goes out to the Senior “B” team who fought valiantly in their match against Team BC, showing a lot courage and strength against the province’s top young prospects.
Next on the tournament schedule is the senior’s tournament at the University of Washington in April.