Xavier Taek­wondo ath­letes to com­pete at na­tion­als

The Casket - - Sports - RICHARD MACKENZIE richard­[email protected]­cas­ket.ca

Four mem­bers of the Xavier Taek­wondo will be in Que­bec City Jan. 10 to 12 to com­pete in a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, with a shot at land­ing a spot on a na­tional team.

“There will be ap­prox­i­mately 500 ath­letes com­pet­ing over three days of com­pe­ti­tion in var­i­ous cat­e­gories of spar­ring and forms; all mem­bers of the Xavier Taek­wondo club com­pete in the spar­ring as­pect of Taek­wondo,” club in­struc­tor Jeremy Reeve wrote in an email to the Casket.

“The four mem­bers of the club will be com­pet­ing in the ju­nior 15 to 17-year-old divi­sion; fight­ing for a spot on the na­tional team that will head to Lima, Peru this June for the Ju­nior Pan Amer­i­can Cham­pi­onships.

“The team has been pre­par­ing for the event for the last five and a half months.”

The four local ath­letes are; Ewan Mac­duff, Re­bekah Pitts, Leah Grant and Cole Allen. For Mac­duff, Pitts and Grant, this will be their first na­tion­als. For Allen, it will be his third con­sec­u­tive na­tion­als, hav­ing fallen just short of podium fin­ishes in 2017 and 2018.

Reeve broke down each ath­lete’s divi­sion and noted how they fared at a re­cent event just out­side of Detroit, Michi­gan.

“Ewan will com­pete in the men’s 63 Kg di­vi­sions. Ewan will face 12 com­peti­tors from New Brunswick, On­tario, Que­bec, Man­i­toba, New­found­land and Nova Sco­tia,” Reeve wrote.

“Ewan is com­ing off a fourth place fin­ish at the Michi­gan Mid­west Cham­pi­onships where he com­peted against ath­letes from the U.S. and On­tario.

“Re­bekah will com­pete in the women’s 52 Kg Divi­sion. Re­bekah will face eight other com­peti­tors from On­tario, Que­bec, Man­i­toba, and B.C.

“Re­bekah is cur­rently com­ing off a fourth place fin­ish at the Michi­gan Mid­west Cham­pi­onships where she com­peted against ath­letes from the U.S.

“Leah will com­pete in the women’s 46 Kg divi­sion. Leah will face eight other com­peti­tors from On­tario, Que­bec and Al­berta.

“Leah is com­ing off a third place fin­ish at the Michi­gan Mid­west Cham­pi­onships where she com­peted against ath­letes from the U.S.

“Cole will com­pete in the men’s 48 Kg divi­sion where he’ll face six other ath­letes from Que­bec, New­found­land, Al­berta and B.C.

“Cole is com­ing off a third and fourth place fin­ish at the Michi­gan Mid­west Cham­pi­onships where he com­peted in both the 12 to14 year old divi­sion, and moved into the 15 to17 year old divi­sion.”

Speak­ing just prior to a re­cent train­ing ses­sion at the club’s lo­ca­tion on Syd­ney Street in down­town Antigonish, Reeve said the four mem­bers trav­eled to Michi­gan in the fall with the na­tion­als squarely in their mind.

“They were able to fight in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors, peo­ple of a very high level; at the same or higher level of the ath­letes they’ll be com­pet­ing against at the na­tion­als,” he said.

“We were us­ing that event as prepa­ra­tion for na­tion­als be­cause we were able to fight against peo­ple who are in­ter­na­tion­ally ranked.”

As for his ex­pec­ta­tions for the four Xavier ath­letes, the vet­eran in­struc­tor said the goal is, “al­ways, on one fight at a time.”

“Of course I would like to have four medals and four peo­ple on Team Canada. With ev­ery­one’s first time in the 15 to 17-year-old divi­sion, re­al­is­ti­cally we would like to just be on the podium,” Reeve added.

Richard Mackenzie

Ath­letes Ewan Mac­duff (left), Cole Allen, Leah Grant and Re­bekah Pitts, from Antigonish-based Xavier Taek­wondo, are ready to com­pete in a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion Jan. 10 to 12 in Que­bec City. In­struc­tor Jeremy Reeve, in cen­tre of photo, noted how the four pre­pared by at­tend­ing a com­pe­ti­tion in Michi­gan at the start of De­cem­ber.

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