Members of Walla Walla’s Karate Center Competition team at the AAU West Coast Junior Olympics. Team members won 12 medals at the competition.

SAN DIEGO — Five members of the Karate Center Competition team traveled to the AAU West Coast Junior Olympics the last week of July, and brought home 12 medals.

These five members qualified to attend by medaling in an AAU qualifier in April. 

On July 28, they competed in their respective divisions. They competed in three divisions each, which included Kata, Kumite, and Weapons. 

Co-team captain Luke Conboy, age 15, was Junior Olympic champion in Sparring in winning gold.

Co-team captain Taylor Krupkat, age 13, was a Junior Olympic silver medalist in all three divisions.

Jackie Newman, 12, was a Junior Olympic champion in Kata and Kumite, as well a bronze-medal winner in Weapons.

Eight-year-old Lily Nelson was a Junior Olympic champion in Weapons, and earned a bronze in Kumite.

Kamdean Hoffman, 7, was a Junior Olympic champion in all divisions to earn three gold medals.

And Joshua Magana, 6, won the Junior Olympics in Weapons, won silver in Kumite and bronze in Kata.

“I am very proud of these kids,” Karate Center sensei David Lybbert said. “As a team, they trained very hard together and supported each other. 

“Individually, they prepared themselves for victory,” he said. “I want to thank the parents personally for their kindness and support, too,” says Sensei David Lybbert.

“These karate kids have been part of the competition team for two years and they have come along way,” a parent said. “They are very talented and are on the road to success. We cannot wait to see what the future holds. We want to thank all their coaches as without their efforts there would be no success.”

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