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It was an exciting weekend for Ellixson’s Tae Kwon Do Academy’s Team Elite as they took the Battle of Baltimore by storm Oct. 20 and 21, 2012.
The event took place at the Essex Community College in Baltimore, Maryland. Master John Burdyck has been hosting this event for 30 years. Title belts are awarded to all 1st place winners and cash awards were distributed for the Demonstration Team Division. Team Elite travels several times a year as a family of martial artists. Its members continue to amaze and impress judges everywhere they go not only for their devotion to the art, but because of their demeanor and exhibition of good sportsmanship and respect towards each other and their competitors. Team Elite continues to show leadership in their attitudes and passion for the art of Tae Kwon Do.
Fifteen year old Tiffany Demenna battled her way to a Grand Championship trophy in the Boys and Girls 17 and under Black Belt finals. Demenna competed in the 14-15 year old eliminations division earlier in the day and after a decision tie breaker she took 1st place for the 14-15 year old Black Belt Traditional Forms division. This qualified her for a place in the final run-offs towards the coveted Grand Championship Title. It is here that the winners of the day gather to compete for the grand trophy. Demenna competed alongside teammates Erick Blank who also took 1st place in the Boys 16-17 year old Black Belt Traditional Forms division. Hannah Starolis crusaded her way through her 12-13 year old Black Belt Traditional Forms division to place first and earned her way into the run-off for the grand championship finals with her team mates. Demenna also received 3rd place in her open Musical Form division earlier in the day. Erick Blank also secured a 1st place win in an impressive display of power and skill for 16-17 year old Black Belt Boys Sparring. Starolis continued to battle in her competitions and after 4 rounds of sparring, shared a 3rd place standing with team mate Julia Hansford in the 12-13 years old Girls sparring event. Fellow team mate, Asia Swenk, scuffled through her matches and went on to take first place in the 12-13 year old Black Belt Girls Sparring division. Swenk and Starolis shared a 3rd place standing in the Black Belt Traditional Weapons division earlier in the day.
Three 1st place belt title championships were also received by Ellixson’s team Elite members joining forces to compete in several team events. Cash awards were given to the 1st place winners of the Team Demonstration event, Ellixson’s Team Elite won 1st place and $300 dollars in a dazzling display of unity and discipline as they stepped into the arena to perform for a panel of 5 judges alongside several other east coast contenders. Hannah Starolis and Asia Swenk paired up to compete in the Weapons Demonstration division with a synchronized musical routine winning first place title belts. Brothers Billy and Matthew Long captured 1st place title belts in the Team Pairs Synchronized Forms Division.
It was a full day of many great accomplishments as Ellixson’s Team Elite members continued to persevere in their individual events. Ellixson’s Elite team mates Billy Long and Gavin Marks both secured standings in the 10-11 Boys & Girls Intermediate Traditional Forms. Billy secured 2nd place and Gavin 3rd place. Roles were reversed for the boys in the 10-11 year old Intermediate Weapons division as Gavin grabbed a 2nd and Billy a 3rd place. Matthew Long achieved 3rd place in the teaming 9 & under Beginner/Intermediate Weapons division. Aaron McNamara also took 4th place in the 12-13 year old advanced weapons division for his double nunchunk form. Ryane Bernstiel came in 3rd place for the 12-13 Black Belt Traditional Forms division.
Earlier in the month Ellixson’s traveled to Tamaqua, PA to attend a local tournament at Marion High School. Some of Ellixson’s students ventured out to try their hand at the local event. Intermediates Coral Sabedra (1st) and Madison Steir (2nd) captured a 1st and 2nd place in the 14-15 Traditional Forms division. Up and coming Kennedy Miller stepped out to compete in her first ever tournament to compete in the 8-9 Beginner Traditional Forms division and achieved a second place trophy. Kennedy also secured 3rd place in her 8-9 Beginning Sparring division. Brothers Billy and Matthew Long teamed up for the Synchronized Team Forms division and netted 2nd place. Billy also placed second in the 11-13 Intermediate Traditional Forms. Matthew Achieved a 1st place in the Boys 8-10 Intermediate Sparring, 3rd in 8-10 Intermediate Weapons and 4th in Forms. Asia Swenk encountered steep competition in the open Weapons Division performing an inspiring performance for the judges and captured 1st place in the overall. Asia acquired two 2nd place trophies in the 12-13 Black Belt Traditional Weapons division and Black Belt Traditional Forms, while holding onto a 3rd place win in Black Belt 12-13 Girls Sparring. In two repeated performances, Brother, Dylan Swenk, triumphed over his opponent for a decision tie-breaker to secure a 1st place winning in 8-10 Advanced Weapons division. Dylan went on to earn 2nd place in the 8-10 Advanced Sparring division and 4th place in Advanced Traditional Forms. Ellixson’s Team Elite will be holding an open Beef n Beer Fundraiser to raise funds for their traveling expenses and continued education in the arts on Friday, November 16, 2012. Please call the dojang at 610-367-1670 for details.