Garrett Herzig (bottom)

Garrett Herzig (bottom)

Athletes grapple for gold

Nearly 250 martial artists fought in the inaugural Winter Classic Jiu Jitsu Tournament Saturday at Priest Valley Gym.

Nearly 250 martial artists fought in the inaugural Winter Classic Jiu Jitsu Tournament Saturday at Priest Valley Gym.

The event, sanctioned by the Canadian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation, featured clubs from the Interior and abroad – Intrepid MMA (Salmon Arm), Unity Martial Arts (Vernon), Toshido MMA (Kelowna), RDC Jiu-Jitsu Academy (Kelowna) Gracie Barra (Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Calgary, Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton), Kelowna Judo Club, Mata Laeo (Kamloops) and Kootenay Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Local Gracie Barra athletes reaching the podium in the gi (martial arts uniform) competition include:

Pee Wee Boys

White belt, light/middleweight – Jonah Lazar, silver.

Yellow, heavyweight – Neo Huppee, gold; Mason Palmer, silver; Cadence Edwards, bronze.

Yellow, light/middleweight – Elan Breget, gold.

Pee Wee Girls

White, light/middleweight – Kaia Kristian, gold; Lillian Marchand, silver.

White, middle/heavyweight – Tehya Laviolette, gold.

Junior Boys

White, lightweight – Elijah Lazar, gold.

White, heavyweight – Jared Jameson, bronze.

Junior Girls

White/yellow, medium heavy/heavyweight – Kaylene Gudeit-Oakden, gold.

Teen Boys

Orange, medium heavy/heavy – Zachary Noseworthy, bronze.

Adult Men

White, middleweight – Colton Douglas, gold.

Blue, rooster/lightweight – Faraz Taj, bronze.

Blue, feather/lightweight – Garrett Herzig, bronze.

Blue, middleweight – Chris Laas, silver

Brown/black belt – Ryan Smid, silver.

Men’s Masters

White, light feather/featherweight – John Kristian, gold; Adam Johnson, silver.

White, light/middleweight – Brent Vaughn, bronze.

Unity Martial Arts members claiming medals in the no-gi competition include:


White, feather/lightweight – Mya Robinson, silver; Kobe Marchand, bronze

White, middle/medium heavyweight – Rylie Marchand, gold.

White, heavyweight – Taylor Robinson, gold.


Grey/yellow, light/middleweight – Koalden Gudeit-Oakden (Gracie Barra member), gold.


White/blue, heavy/super heavyweight – Trevor Finney, bronze.


White, lightweight – Alex Loosemore, gold; Skyler Mobey, bronze.

White, middleweight – Kyle Ayotte (independent), gold.

Female white – Jesse Dalton, bronze.

n A trio of Vernon Boxing Club members posted two wins and a draw at a recent card at Griffins Boxing club in North Vancouver.

In his amateur boxing debut, Steve (Too Fast) Schols, 11, earned a three-round decision in his 80-pound battle with Zade Jalifi of Quesnel. Schols knocked his opponent down in Round 2 for an eight-count en route to the win.

Jake (Banger) Stuchberry, 21, earned a first-round stoppage of Quesnel’s Joey McKerricher in their middleweight bout.

A power puncher, Stuchberry knocked McKerricher down at the 40-second mark, and finished him off 20 seconds later.

Joe (Smash) Sigalet, 20, also making his amateur debut, earned a draw in his heavyweight tilt with Dennis Musto, despite giving up 20 pounds and a lot of ring experience (it was Musto’s sixth fight).The 190-pound Sigalet slugged it out for three hard rounds to claim Fight of the Night honours.

n In preparation for the Bronze Gloves boxing tournament next weekend in Vernon, Boxing B.C. is hosting a coaching workshop Sunday in the Dogwood Gym at the Recreation Complex.

The workshop starts at 9 a.m. and will be led by Bob Pegues of Prince George’s Inner City Boxing Club.

The Bronze Gloves tourney goes next Friday and Saturday at the Recreation Complex and will feature some of B.C.’s top rising talent, as well as Canadian and Commonwealth champions.

Bouts will get under way at 6:30 each night. Admission is $10.