This past weekend Ivey League headed to the inaugural NAGA Pittsburgh competition where great times were had and lots of hardware came back to Arnold!
Both the kids and adults drove 4 hours to compete spanning all levels of skill, ages and ability ranks. Miss Teresa, Coach Phil and several helpful parents helped guide the students in their never ending pursuit of championships.
Below is a quick rundown on how our students performed. 1st place performances are in Bold
Maddi “Pink” Stevens – 1st Place
Lauren “Prototype” Miller – 1st Place
Patrick “Blood” Ellis – 1st Place
Mike “Mouth” Garlington – 1st Place
Sean Garlington – 2nd Place
Jacob “Juji” Miller = 3rd Place
For the kids, once again Patrick Ellis stole the show with his aggressive style and never-say-die fighting spirit. Yes this is the same kid that couldn’t do a forward roll when he first started! He’s quickly making a name for himself on the grappling circuit and many fans who enjoy watching the way he competes.
Another rising star is Lauren Miller. She followed up her gold medal performance at Pan Kids with double 1st place finishes in Pittsburgh in both gi and nogi. She did this in a tougher and higher skill level then she’s used to.
“Prototype” as we call her, proved that not only does she possess the talent, but she’s also a thinker. Winning her matches with not only skill but also superior mat tactics. Everyone was super impressed!
I can’t not say anything about first time competitor Maddi Stevens. She collected a 1st place medal her first time out, there’s something to be said for that. That a girl!
Vinnie Cruz = 2nd Place
Kyle Rocke = 2nd Place
Phil Higgins = 2nd Place
Kyle Rocke had a great day on the mats despite being in the wrong age and skill division. He ended up competing at blue belt and also in the 18-29 division. Normally he’d have been in white belt masters (30+). So even with all that going on he still managed to pull in 2nd place. Not bad at all.
Overall the experience was extremely positive and enjoyable. While the tournament was smaller than the average NAGA Event, it was great for us to all cheer one another on and bond as a team.
If you notice these students looking sharper, faster or more aggressive in class, now you know why. There’s nothing like competing to propel you to the next level. Every tournament you do adds up to about 6 months of training. Try one and you’ll see.
We look forward to reporting more results in the future and encourage you to join us at our next event. Speaking of… another NAGA Event is on the books for Apr 26. Let us know if you’d like to try your hand at this whole grappling tournament thing. Keep training hard and the winning should easy Ivey Leaguers!