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Northern Lights club takes League Cup

Northern Lights Judo Club was shining bright at the Yukon Judo Championships held at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday.

Northern Lights Judo Club was shining bright at the Yukon Judo Championships held at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday.

With a total of 11 medals won, Northern Lights (NLJ) secured the Judo Yukon Championships League Cup having amassed the most points over the four local competitions this season.

“We had a good start right from the beginning,” said Dan Poelman, Northern Lights sensei and Judo Yukon president. “We just had some good competitors and I think we edged out Shiroumakai, so there was a change of ownership.”

Included in Northern Lights’ 11 medals on Saturday were six gold medals, won by Paige Poelman, Liam Rollins, Reece Newell, Melia Hudgin and two from Tai McClelland.

Taking second in the League Cup standings was last year’s winner, Shiroumakai Judo Club (SHK), ahead of Golden Horn Judo Club (GHJ).

Judo Yukon’s Best Performance Club Trophy, which factors in total participants, saw a repeat winner. Hiroshikai Judo Club, the smallest of the Whitehorse clubs with just two active members, won for the second year in a row. Hiroshikai’s one student, Jadon Leenders, was absent from the championship, but had produced strong enough results through the season to keep the club in the top spot.

Taking second was Northern Lights in front of Shiroumakai in third.

“Hiroshikai maintained their best performance (title) again, though Northern Lights was pretty close,” said Dan.

For the second year in a row, the championship was an international event with three Alaskan clubs represented. Helping bring the number of participants up to around 50 was the presence of Juneau’s Capital City Judo Club (CCJ) as well as Anchorage’s Mountain View Judo Club (MVJ) and Fireweed Judo Club (FWJ).

“I believe we have more representation from Alaska this year than we did last year, but less from local (clubs),” said Aaron Jensen, tournament director and Shiroumakai sensei. “There’s a lot of sickness right now. I have three kids from my club who are sick right now.”

Out of the 17 available gold medals at the championship, six went to the Alaskan clubs.

In addition to remaining an international event, for just the second time since the early ‘90s, the championship had a big shot from Judo Canada help officiate.

Bruce Kamstra, Judo Canada’s western regional technical director and Team B.C. coach, came up from Prince George to officiate and hold three clinics.

“It’s too bad that Whitehorse is so remote to the rest of the judo world,” said the fifth degree black belt. “It would be nice to see more kids out here. Actually, it’s too bad that many of the kids who are participating in judo in the Yukon aren’t here today.”



Boys/girls U9 (light)

Gold: Olijah Armstrong (MVJ)

Silver: Eban Basnett (SHK)

Bronze: Ammon Baird (MVJ)

Bronze: Sam Bugg (GHJ)

Bronze: Anya Bellon (GHJ)

Girls U11 (light)

Gold: Paige Poelman (NLJ)

Silver: Judith Russell (SHK)

Boys U11 (light)

Gold: Gavin Mellon (FWJ)

Silver: Tai McClelland (NLJ)

Bronze: Mattias Sembsmoen (NLJ)

Bronze: Alan Johnson (SHK)

Boys U11 (light heavy)

Gold: Liam Rollins (NLJ)

Silver: Ronan Clutton (GHJ)

Boys U11 (heavy)

Gold: Reece Newell (NLJ)

Girls U13 (light)

Gold: Abagail Harvey (FWJ)

Silver: Kaylee Johnson (SHK)

Girls U13 (medium)

Gold: Kylie Lager (CCJ)

Silver: Rory Hamilton (CCJ)

Bronze: Mackenzie Harvey (FWJ)

Bronze: Emiko Teramura (SHK)

Boys U13 (medium light)

Gold: Thomas Dickson (SHK)

Silver: Connor Sibbeston (SHK)

Bronze: Isaac Pumphrey (GHJ)

Boys U13 (medium)

Gold: Dorian Mellon (FWJ)

Silver: Nathaniel Greenshields (SHK)

Girls U17 (light)

Gold: Amy Roberts (SHK)

Silver: Kelly Glada (SHK)

Boys U17 (light)

Gold: Jerry Miller (SHK)

Boys U17 (heavy)

Gold: Tavis McCallum (SHK)

Silver: Antoine Broeckx (SHK)

Bronze: Chris Coulson (CCJ)

Senior men (open)

Gold: Jay Watts (CCJ)

Silver: Marc-André Lavigne (SHK)

Bronze: Patrick Murphy (CCJ)

Judo knowledge (novice)

Gold: Tai McClelland (NLJ)

Silver: Connor Sibbeston (SHK)

Bronze: Mattias Sembsmoen (NLJ)

Judo knowledge (intermediate)

Gold: Melia Hudgin (NLJ)

Silver: Abagail Harvey (FWJ)

Bronze: Kaylee Johnson (SHK)

Ukemi (break falls - novice)

Gold: Tai McClelland (NLJ)

Silver: Mattias Sembsmoen (NLJ)

Bronze: Connor Sibbeston (SHK)

Ukemi (break falls - intermediate)

Gold: Emiko Teramura (SHK)

Silver: Thomas Dickson (SHK)

Bronze: Paige Poelman (NLJ)


Toughest Female: Emiko Teramura (SHK)

Toughest Male: Jay Watts (CCJ)

Best Throw Female: Kylie Lager (CCJ)

Best Throw Male: Gavin Mellon (FWJ)

Sportsmanship Female: Kaylee Johnson (SHK)

Sportsmanship Male: Daniel Baird (MVJ)

Contact Tom Patrick at