Eighteen members of the City of Santa Clarita’s Community Centers karate team competed at the prestigious USA Martial Arts Winter Olympics in Las Vegas, Nevada last week and won a total of seven 1st, six 2nd, four 3rd, and three 4th place trophies.
More than 2,500 participants from around the country exhibited their martial arts skills in the prestigious competition. Despite the intense competition, every participant from the Santa Clarita team managed to place in the tournament.
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The team members who competed and took home trophies include Wyatt Lemaster, 8, Brandon Mani, 8, Angie Juares, 9, Isabel Osorio, 9, Samantha Breitback, 9, Pamela Nicanor, 10, Briana Acosta, 11, Yohana Neri, 12, Yareli Cervantes, 13, Jonathan Perez, 13, Araceli Bobadilla, 14, Jorge Ruiz, 14, Jimmy Cardenas, 15, Jennifer Perez, 18, Karina Ruiz, 18, Carlos Cazares, 19, Marc Bradby, 23, and Ruben Caldera, 47.
“In addition to martial arts training, students in the program learn discipline, integrity, respect, and a can-do attitude that will stick with them for life,” said Mayor Marsha McLean.
Prior to the competition, volunteer karate instructor and team leader Dave Moreno was honored by the International Martial Arts Council as “Instructor of the Year.” Sensei Dave was selected out of a pool of more than 3,000 instructors. Dave has trained the City’s award-winning team for more than five years at the Community Center as a volunteer.
For more information about the karate team or instructor Dave Moreno, please contact Julie Calderon, the Community Center Supervisor, at (661) 286-4006.