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Judo athletes have success in wrestling; Northern Colorado’s Hashimoto seeks NCAA honors



Kenny Hashimoto (Thornton, Colo. / Northglenn Judo) has not only juggled both judo and NCAA Division-I wrestling schedules this winter, but he's managed to do so with success in both sports.

The #1 American judo athlete in the 66kg division, Hashimoto has had a busy few weeks. Not only did he earn a silver medal at the New York Open over the weekend, but Hashimoto, who competes for Univ. of Northern Colorado, won the NCAA Western Regionals in Cedar Falls, Iowa on March 3 in the 141 lb. division, taking Co-Outstanding Wrestling honors in the process.

Hashimoto will be back on the road this weekend when he competes Thursday at the NCAA Div. Nationals in Auburn Hills, Mich. Ranked #8 in the nation in his division, Hashimoto's opening match will be against Darrion Caldwell, a true freshman and ACC Champion out of North Carolina State.

A two-time Colorado 5A State Champion in wrestling, Hashimoto holds a 59-7 collegiate wrestling record with only two losses coming this season.

Several USA Judo athletes also finished out the wrestling season with post-season wins at state high school tournaments.

Gabriel Espinosa (Miami, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai Judo) won the Florida Class 3A State Championship at 125 lbs. while Patrick Spano (Tampa, Fla. / El Mambi Judo) won the 152 lbs. title in Class 2A.

Ivan Lopouchanski (Hollywood, Fla. / Budokan Judo), a 2006 Junior U.S. Open silver medalist at 66kg, was the runner up in the Class 1A 152 lbs. division. Hector Escamilla (Lake Worth, Fla. / West Palm Beach Judo), the 2006 Junior U.S. Open Champion in the Juvenile B +90kg division, also competed at the State Championships, placing fifth in the Class 3 A heavyweight division.

Three athletes from the Mayo Quanchi Judo Club earned Rhode Island High School State Wrestling Titles: Alfred Raymond (Providence, R.I. / 152 lbs.), Shawn Giblin (Cranston, R.I. / 125 lbs.) and Nick Bacarri (Providence, R.I. / 215 lbs.)

Five Mayo Quanchi players also took titles at the Rhode Island USA Kids Wrestling Championships which is considered to be the state championship event for middle and junior high school athletes. Two-time Pan American Infantile Champion Katelyn Bouyssou (Hope, R.I.) won the 90 lbs. division, competing against an all-male field while 2006 Pan Am Infantile Champion Everet Desilets (Hope, R.I.) won the 95 lbs. division. Tyler Nourey (Providence, R.I. / 75 lbs.), Serge Bouyssou (Hope, R.I. / 80 lbs.) and Max O'Connell (Cranston, R.I. / 85 lbs.) also won titles.

In Colorado, Zach Maes (Wheatridge, Colo. / Team FORCE), the top-ranked junior in the 55kg division, finished fourth at 112 lbs. in the Division 4A State Championships while Seiji Hashimoto (Thornton, Colo. / Northglenn Judo) placed third at 140 lbs. in Division 5A.
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