DAY THREE: TOURNAMENT
Start the morning off right: oatmeal stirred with glasses and leftover pasta eaten with a coffee stir stick. Then, pack up our judogis and snacks, and check out.
10AM: Walk over to the Irving Convention Center. There are six rings, and each one is somewhere around its twentieth match when we arrive. Joey’s and my first fights are in the forties. Anne’s is in the sixties. We sit down and wait.
In my ring, the match number jumps to thirty. Then it climbs to thirty-five. Time to start warming up. My matches start first. I win the first two matches by shidos; lose the third match to a drop seoi-nage; lose the final match by a yuko. Joey and Anne’s matches begin at almost the same time. Joey starts with a bye and wins his first match, but he is outmatched in his next two matches. Anne is fighting all the way, winning all but two matches.
In the end, it seems we have represented Cal Judo well:
Joey: 3rd Place
Cassandra: 3rd Place
Anne: 2nd Place
After the tournament, it’s Italian food again with friends and huge Stromboli. Then, back to the hotel lobby.
DAY FOUR: THE RETURN
We’re at the airport early to catch the 7:15 AM flight back to SFO. And no amount of coffee staves off the exhaustion from Saturday.
We are back in Berkeley before noon, tired but safe.
Personally, I had an excellent experience. It was my first national-level judo tournament, and I was there with friends. I met new people and tested my skills, and I learned more about the art of Judo while I was there.
Now, we await Collegiates.