Sundance stellar at nationals

Sundance Martial Arts students came away with eight national champions from the ITF Tae Kwon Do National Championships in Calgary.

Sundance Martial Arts students came away with eight national champions from the International Taekwon-Do Federation National Championships in Calgary.

There were 18 members from the Vernon and Kelowna clubs competing in a field of nearly 350, bringing home 38 medals (12 gold, 12 silver, 14 bronze). All eight of Sundance’s black belts also earned seeding points to represent Canada at the 2013 ITF world championships in Benidorm, Spain. The final selection for the tourney will occur next November at nationals in Quebec City.

The club also had five members represent Team B.C. in black belt sparring. Brad Cotey and Peter McGowan helped the B.C. men’s team secure gold over Saskatchewan.

The junior girls team, with locals Abbie Bennett and Taylor Halvorson, also finished ahead of Saskatchewan after a hard-fought overtime win.

The junior boys, featurig Kai Halvorson, bowed to Nova Scotia in OT, settling for bronze.

“All of our athletes, coaches and families put a huge amount of effort into their recent success and for that I couldn’t be more proud as an instructor and coach,” said Sundance head instructor David White. “Everyone went in with confidence and pride and knowledge that they were going to put forward their absolute best effort at the tournament.”

In the individual black belt competition, Cotey delivered gold in men’s first-degree patterns and silver in heavyweight sparring.

Taylor Halvorson earned gold in the junior girls heavyweight sparring and bronze in second-degree patterns. Her younger brother, Kai Halvorson, took the gold in junior boys lightweight sparring.

Bennett placed second in junior girls heavyweight sparring and third in patterns.

Kelowna instructor Chris Rock collected silver in men’s lightweight sparring, while Peter McGowan added silver in super senior patterns.

Black belt sisters Sarah and Fiona Dixon struck bronze medals in both their women’s patterns and sparring divisions.

In individual 6-8 green belt competition, Jill Halvorson struck gold in patterns and bronze in sparring. Maira Wilson took the gold in sparring and silver in patterns.

Sarah Crerar won gold in 9-11 green belt patterns and bronze in sparring. Jake Andrykew took the gold in 9-11 yellow belt patterns and silver in sparring. Brett Bell won gold in 15-17 red belt lightweight sparring and silver in a very tough patterns division.

Brothers Jacob Bennett and Aiden Bennett also struck success, with Jacob hitting silver in red belt sparring and bronze in patterns, while Aiden pocketed silver in blue belt boys patterns and bronze in sparring.

Ciara Wilson uncovered double silver in 12-14 girls blue belt patterns and sparring. Geoff Halvorson recorded double bronze in 35+ men’s red belt patterns and sparring.

Natalie Bowie took the silver in women’s red belt sparring and bronze in patterns.

For more information about the club, visit