Junior Pan-American Team 2011

Team USA to Compete This Weekend at the Pan American Junior and Juvenile Championships in Santiago, Chile:

( Santiago, Chile ) 16 of the top junior Judoka in the country will compete at the Pan American Junior and Juvenile Championships this weekend in Santiago, Chile.

This is one of the more prestigious and competitive tournaments in North, Central and South America. Competition will include Juvenile divisions ( 15 – 16 year olds ) on Friday and Junior divisions ( 17 – 19 year olds ) on Saturday. Many of the athletes will also compete at the South American Championships on Sunday ( September 12 ).

The top juniors from more that 20 countries are expected to participate. This includes delegations from traditional power Brazil, along with Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru amongst others.

The US team which includes 11 male players and 5 female players has nice mix of youth and experience.

The team is being lead by Head Coach Brett Wolf ( Menomonee Judo Club, Chicago, IL ). Menomonee Judo is well represented with two players ( Andrew Varga IJF 73kg and Max Bermont IJF 100kg ) on the team. Wolf will be assisted by Henry Okamura

( Chicago, IL ).

A veteran of numerous Jr Pan Am Teams, Kyle Taketa ( Taishi Judo Club, Torrance, CA ) is the most experienced and decorated member of the team. Last year at this event, Kyle took home the gold medal in the IJF 66kg division.

Five members of the team will also compete this November at the Junior World Championships being held in Cape Town, South Africa. They are Lauren Baez (Ki-Itsu-Sai National Training Center, Coral Gables, FL ), Nathan Kearney (Okuri Judo, Keller, TX ), Kyle Taketa ( Taishi Judo Club, Torrance, CA ), Andrew Varga ( Menomonee Judo Club, Chicago, IL ) and Derek Wojcik ( Ippon Judo, Tyrone, GA )

Another five members of the team recently returned from Kiev, Ukraine where they competed in the Cadet World Championships ( 15 – 16 year olds ). These players include, Adonis Diaz, William Inserra, Michael Assels, Lauren Baez and Alisha Galles.

A complete roster of athletes competing this weekend is as follows:

Junior Team ( 17 -19 year olds )

Female 57kg
1. Mary Decker ( Colorado )

Female 63kg
2. Carla Genao-Butler ( Colorado )

Male 55kg
3. Nathan Kearney ( Texas )

Male 66kg
4. Kyle Taketa ( California )

Male 73kg
5. Andrew Varga ( Illinois )

Male 81kg
6. Austin Cavanaugh ( Illinois )

Male 90kg
7. Derek Wojcik ( Georgia )

Male 100kg
8. Max Bermont ( Illinois )

Male +100kg
9. Jimmy Barnes ( Oklahoma )

Juvenile Team ( 15 – 16 year olds )

Female 57kg
10. Lauren Baez ( Florida )

Female 63kg
11. Alisha Galles ( New Mexico )

Female 70kg
12. Seraiah Martin ( Texas )

Male 50kg
13. Matthew Kearney ( Texas )

Male 55kg
14. Adonis Diaz ( Florida )

Male 60kg
15. William Inserra ( Virginia )

Male 66kg
16. Michael Assels ( Texas )


Head Coach • Brett Wolf ( Illinois )
Assistant Coach • Henry Okamura ( Illinois )

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