Pineda’s Kenpo Karate Crowns Three Grand Champions at Western Wyoming Karate Championships

Pineda’s Kenpo Karate Crowns Three Grand 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 Championships took place last month at the Green River Recreation Center after being delayed 16 months.

The event hosted 166 martial artists from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Iowa. Competition included kata, sparring, weapons kata, self-defense, padded sword sparring, flag sparring and breaking in 154 age group divisions.

Eleven grand champions were awarded with Pineda’s team members earning three. Cole Gilmore earned the 13-17 Under-belt Grand Champion for the second straight year. Drew Beardall earned the Adult Under-belt Grand Champion. Both awards represent an all-around award based on cumulative points in four categories: kata, sparring, weapons kata, and self-defense. Black Belt Gary Dean earned the Senior Men’s Black Belt Sparring Grand Champion.

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Pineda’s Kenpo team had a squad of 28 competitors, from age 5 to 73. This was their first major competition for many team members.

Several other individuals also saw great success at the tournament. I. J. Rogers competed in the weapons kata with a cane for his first time. The Pelham family (Cristy, Davey, and Cris), competed in every category and had a very successful day. Cole Gilmore and Drew Beardall of Green River won the under-belt grand champions in their age group.

The championships are a great success thanks to Pineda’s team members, their families, and friends who volunteer as coordinators, scorekeepers, and judges, who generously devote their time year after year.