ANTIGONISH, N.S. - It was a very successful nationals for members of Xavier Taekwondo Club.
The competition took place in Quebec City Jan. 10 to 12 and representing the local club, Cole Allen earned a silver medal and Leah Grant a bronze, while teammates Ewan MacDuff and Rebekah Pitts also had strong showings with a fifth and seventh place finish, respectively.
All four athletes noted their training under Xavier Taekwondo instructor Jeremy Reeve in helping them find success, as well as the sparring they do against each other to prepare for matches.
“My coach, he is one of the main things that helped me, and my amazing training partners; if I didn’t have them I wouldn’t have done nearly as well as I did,” Pitts said, articulating the thought.
“The whole team was very helpful; supportive of each other,” Grant said, adding staying positive was important for her after losing her first fight.
“You have to put it out of your mind; [say to yourself] that was one fight, you’re going into the next fight, so forget about it,” she said, recalling her mindset.
MacDuff noted the KP and P scoring system helped him at the nationals as he was able to score with certain kicks.
“It certainly did more help than harm,” he said of the system.
All four competitors also noted their participation at an international competition just outside Detroit, late last year, as playing a part in successful getting ready for the national event.
“A lot,” MacDuff said of how much competing at one event helped with the other.
“Just fighting at a higher level; I would say the fights in Michigan were harder than what we had in Quebec,” he said, adding that was more of a personal perspective.
“It was one of my first high-level competitions, so it gave me a spot to get my head space ready for where I needed to be to fight at that [nationals] level,” Pitts said.
“That tournament [Michigan] set up was bigger, so it helped mentally,” Grant said, adding, “the competition was very good too.”
“I was less stressed because I had just finished up a big one,” Allen said of coming from the Michigan event to the nationals.
When asked about his season overall, Allen said, “things are going well.”