Competitors from Kalispell were part of the Montana team that recently won the AAU Taekwondo National Championship. Of the 38 members on the Montana national team, 16 were from Kalispell’s Big Sky Martial Arts. The team traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 30 through July 5. The squad claimed the first national title for a Montana team. This year’s AAU Taekwondo Nationals featured over 2,000 competitors in the Olympic Sparring event. This is the highest level of competition in the U.S. for all levels of martial artists.
Among the competitors, Taylor Reed, 17, qualified for the U.S. Team Trials. Reed will travel back to Fort Lauderdale Sept. 6-8 to seek a berth on the national team, which travels to international competition next spring.
“He puts in the extra 10 percent in class and he’s paid his dues. I think he’s ready to win. He’s ready to take that next step,” said John Paul Noyes, head coach at Kalispell’s Big Sky Martial Arts.
The Kalispell competitors were: Tracer Gislason, Kaid Buls, Kelvin Pandina, Alexis Pandina, Kyrie Gislason, Trish Pandina, Kyah Gislason, Cheyanne Arndt, Bella Waldher, Meredith Bedford, Shaun Pandina, Alex Bondurant, Jackson Waldher, Dakota Arndt and Michael Bedford.
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