(Aurora, CO) – The Colorado State Taekwondo Association (COSTA) held its annual state championships on March 9th at Hinkley High School. Nearly 300 competitors braved the ‘blizzard’ to come and compete with the best from Colorado as well as six other states. Because this tournament was a qualifier for the USA Taekwondo National Championships, competitors from other states could come in order to qualify here.
Competitors in most events had to place in the top 4 in their division in order to secure their spot in Chicago, Il for this summer’s tournament. Due to the narrowness of the divisions, most competitors were able to accomplish this feat.
One of the most anticipated battles of the day was the Demo Team competition. Through the last year (including the US National Championships and the US Open Hanmadang) the team from the Academy of Life and Leadership (ALL) had suffered only one defeat – to Team Thunder of Universal Taekwondo. The ALL Team avenged their loss by turning in a near-flawless performance that showed increasing tricking skills, amazing synchronization, and great choreography that lead to an emotional climax. Team Thunder had a fantastic performance as well, but it seemed as if the mat was too small for their team and a number of small errors doomed their chances to repeat their victory over the reigning national champions. Still, there were a number of flips, 540s, and also a butterfly twist, moves that these teams weren’t capable of two years ago.
Master Andre’s Champion Taekwondo Academy brought 41 competitors on their way to their first School of the Year trophy, unseating 3 time champions KAT, which had to settle for third behind Master Santos’s Littleton Taekwondo.
This year COSTA also decided to recognize outstanding performances. Kinsey Muso (Littleton) won the “Outstanding Referee” award while Nikita Karamian (CTA) took home honors for the top female athlete. The top male athlete award went to school owner and gold medalist Bret Mischlich (Martinez/Tri Lakes TKD).
All in all it was a great tournament that went by much more smoothly than last year’s event. Competitors with no one in their divisions had at least one demo match and the overall vibe of the tournament was positive and good natured.
Now the attention of the Colorado Martial Arts Community turns to the Twin Dragons Tournament, which is only 2 weeks away.