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Members of The Karate Center competition team hold up medals they won at the Amateur Athletic Union West Coast Junior Olympics on July 28 in San Diego.

The last week of July, five members of The Karate Center of Walla Walla competition team won big in  San Diego at the Amateur Athletic Union West Coast Junior Olympics.

On July 28 they each competed in kata, kumite and weapons divisions and brought home 12 medals, said Leah Krupkat in a release. 

“I am very proud of these kids. As a team they trained very hard together and supported each other. Individually, they prepared themselves for victory. I want to thank the parents personally for their kindness and support too,” said their teacher, Sensei David Lybbert.

They qualified to attend by medaling in an AAU event in April. 

Co-Team Captain Luke Conboy, 15, Junior Olympic Champion in sparring, one gold.

Co-Team Captain Taylor Krupkat, 13, Junior Olympic Silver medalist in all three divisions.

Jackie Newman, 12, Junior Olympic Champion in kata and kumite, bronze in weapons, two gold, one bronze.

Lily Nelson, 8, Junior Olympic Champion in Weapons, bronze in kumite, one gold, one bronze.

Kamdean Hoffman, 7, Junior Olympic Champion in all divisions, three gold. 

Joshua Magana, 6, not pictured, Junior Olympic Champion in weapons, silver in kumite and bronze in kata.

Crediting the coaches’ efforts, a parent representative said, “These karate kids have been part of the competition team for two years and they have come a long way. They are very talented and are on the road to success. We cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

Dave founded the center in 1992. Instructors teach traditional Shotokan Karate-do, “the way of the empty hand.” 

They view karate as one of well roundedness. Fighting and self-defense aspects of karate are taught along with the spiritual and philosophical benefits of karate-do. The center is at 220 E. Alder St. For more details, call 509) 386-0520 or see thekaratecenter.org/.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.  

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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