Pedro's Judo Center Team Force athletes competed well in Spokane, Washington over the weekend at the Fall Classic and Ladder National Championships. The tournament was also site of the 2008 Jr. World team Trials where Team Force went a perfect 3 for 3 placing Kayla Harrison (78kg), Aaron Kunihiro (60kg) and Hana Carmichael (57kg) on the Jr. World team. The Junior Worlds are the third biggest tournament on the planet next to the Olympics and Senior World Championships.
Hana Carmichael (57kg) started the day with an easy win over Carly Patton sending her to the final with long time rival Angelica Delgado (FL). Delgado and Carmichael started slow each receiving 2 stalling penalties. Hana kept focus with her gripping sequence and threw Delgado with a nice osoto in the last 20 seconds forcing a winner take all fight off. Again both girls remained cautious receiving a stalling penalty each and sending the match into a nail-biting overtime period. Carmichael stepped up during the OT and her non stop attacking led Delgado to receive a stalling penalty with 2 minutes remaining. Hana also defeated Delgado at the 2006 Jr. World trials making her undefeated against Angelica in big time matches. Aaron Kunihiro (60kg) knew he was in store for a long day when he dropped his first match to Jeff Fujimoto (CA). Kunihiro was the #1 seed in the trials which automatically sent him into a winner take all fight off with the top finisher at the trials. Kyle Taketa defeated Fujimoto in the final making him Aaron's opponent in the fight off. Aaron played a smart match, scoring an early koka and fending off a flurry of attacks by Taketa to make his first Junior World team. Kayla Harrison (78kg) needed a little over 1 minute to make her second Junior World team. Kayla easily defeated Halee Shadden (TX) to set up the final match with #2 Laquinta Allen (FL). Kayla threw Laquinta with a beautiful hip toss in just 14 seconds to secure her spot on the team.
Carmichael, Kunihiro and Harrison were joined by teammates Bobby Lee (73kg), Chris Round (81kg) and Aaron Handy (100kg) to compete in the Fall Classic tournament. Harrison and Kunihiro went undefeated in the 78 and 60kg divisions winning their first Fall Classic titles. Carmichael earned a silver medal in the 57kg division losing only to rival Hannah Martin (NY). This was Hana's highest ever placing at the Fall Classic. Aaron Handy picked up a bronze medal in the 100kg division and Bobby Lee rounded out the medal count earning a bronze medal in the 73kg division. Chris Round competed well in the 81kg division posting a 2-2 record. Round opted to fight 90kg the next day at the Ladder tournament where he impressively won a gold medal.