Pineda’s karate Kenpo crowns three great champions at Western Wyoming Karate Championships




Front row, left to right: Hope Barton, Jace Hill, Aydin Hill, Davey Pelham, Marcos Ruiz, Kyden Saul. Back row, left to right: Ron Rice, Gary Dean, Xavier Fernandez, Kymani Reed, Hunter Smith, Sage Maser, Zane Dixon, Kaylin Warner, Jim Dean

GREEN RIVER – The 40th Annual Western Wyoming Karate Championship was held last month at the Green River Recreation Center after being delayed for 16 months.

The event hosted 166 martial artists from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Iowa. The competition included kata, bouts, kata weapons, self defense, padded sword fights, flag fights, and smashes across 154 age categories.

Eleven great champions have been honored and members of the Pineda squad have won three. Cole Gilmore won the 13-17-year-old Grand Champion below the belt for the second year in a row. Drew Beardall won the Grand Champion Adult Underbelt. Both rewards represent a global reward based on cumulative points in four categories: kata, sparring, weapon kata and self-defense. Black Belt Gary Dean won the Senior Men’s Grand Black Belt Sparring Champion.

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Pineda’s Kenpo team had a squad of 28 competitors, ranging in age from 5 to 73 years old. It was their first major competition for many of the team.

Several other people also enjoyed great success at the tournament. IJ Rogers participated for the first time in the weapons kata with a cane. The Pelham family (Cristy, Davey and Cris) competed in all categories and had a very successful day. Cole Gilmore and Drew Beardall of Green River won the big under-belt champions in their age group.

The Championships are a great success thanks to the members of the Pineda team, their families and friends who volunteer as coordinators, scorers and judges, who give generously of their time year after year.


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Joseph D. Whitman

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