They brought home the gold. And a whole lot more.
Bainbridge Island’s Pacific Fusion Martial Sports Team returned from the AAU National Tae Kwon Do Championships in Florida with three gold medals, two silver medals and four bronzes.
Athletes from the Bainbridge team competed in divisions of Olympic sparring, point sparring, and choreographed forms over the course of five days to win medals and titles.
Following the National Tae Kwon Do Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, seven athletes from Pacific Fusion Premier Martial Arts — Lillian Aduddell, Maddy Woods, Merida Prentice, Sunny Gregson, Tess Longoria, Richie Cacioppo and Trinity Rudolph — claimed nine medals. The event gathered some of the best martial artists in the U.S. with fierce competition in each division the Bainbridge athletes entered, so the results are impressive. Each of the Pacific Fusion athletes were competitive in their respective divisions, leading to many places on the podium being taken by the Bainbridge natives.
Team officials said the number of medals won at Nationals is proof of the time and dedication the martial artists, who train out of Pacific Fusion Premier Martial Arts on Sportsman Club Road, have put into their training. In addition to daily competition team practices and normal classes, the Bainbridge athletes have also been attending state and regional tournaments this year in preparation for Nationals. The hours of practice evidently paid off, as each of the team members returned from Nationals satisfied with their performances in the ring, some with medals, coaches said.
Team coaches also noted the team’s medal count is even more impressive because this season is the very first for the young team; only one of the athletes had competed in martial arts prior to this season and for the rest, it was a brand-new experience.
Next up for the team is the Junior Olympics, July 26-27.