MARTIAL ARTS: Local practitioners fare well at karate championships
Black belt Nico Tabarez (right) delivers a kick to his opponent at the Four Valleys of the Sun Open Karate Championships on Sunday. Tabarez, 13, placed first in sparring competition. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARA MELENDEZ / April 17, 2013)
“We did really well being we’re the host and half of the participants were from the school,” said K.W. Center owner and grand master Clara Melendez. “They fared very, very well … plenty of first places, second places, top prizes.”
One of those winners was Camille Preece. The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Corfman Middle School in El Centro won her bracket in the black belt females 14-16 forms division, her bracket in the black belt females 14-16 sparring division and third in weapons.
“I was excited about winning my forms and sparring,” said the K.W. student, who has been at the center since she was 5 years old. “I felt I tried my best (in weapons).”
Jay Tabarez, 14, an eighth-grader at Wilson Junior High, has been a student at K.W. for about 10 years and has attended the tournament every year.
“I really liked it. I tried to do my best and I was really happy with the result,” he said of his second-place finish in the black belt males 14-16 forms division and win in the black belt males 14-16 sparring division.
“It was a good learning experience performing in front of people,” he said.
22nd Annual Four Valley’s of the Sun Karate Championships
Black belt results only
Forms Grand Champion adult black belt – Fernando Arellano
1. Carlos Rios
2. Jay Tabarez
Females 14-16 (two brackets)
1. Camille Preece/Audi Garrison