Brad Bolen (25) & Tony Sangimino (23) from the Jason Morris Judo Center (JMJC) in Glenville claimed United States Senior National Judo titles after winning their respective divisions at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino May 3 and 4.
Sangimino, who won silver last year, took it one step further as he went 4-0 on the day in dominating fashion and giving the JMJC its 26th US National Champion. This was Tony’s third overall national medal.
Bolen won his fifth overall medal at the nationals, having been in the finals the last four years (gold 2012, silver 2013 and 2011), along with picking up a bronze in 2009. Bolen won the final against up-and-comer Spencer Augustine (22), getting his signature `Bolen Arrow` choke in the first minute of the match to give the JMJC its 27th national champion.
Schenectady County Community College student Maria Dhami (18) continued to improve, as she made it all the way to the women’s 52-kilogram final and losing only to top-ranked Angelica Delgado by penalties 3-0. Ashley Hejlik (27) also continued to improve, as she picked up her first US Senior National medal in winning a bronze at 48kg. Hejlik now moves all the way to No. 5 in the US. Hejlik also won a gold in the 48kg brown belt division, with JMJC teammate Haley Meara (18) taking a bronze.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School senior Eric Skylar (17) posted a 5-0 record on the day to capture a gold in the 81kg brown belt category, making that his first Senior National medal. Dave Harris (28) lost to eventual silver medalist Augustine, who he had beaten just a month earlier, and placed seventh in 66kg.
RPI graduate Leah Fisher (29) had her career-best performance at the nationals, as she took a silver at 70kg. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School Junior Nick Irabli (17) turned in his best performance at the nationals as well, taking fifth place at +100kg and improving upon his ninth place finish last year. Burnt Hills graduate Jack Hatton (18) placed ninth at 81kg, as did SCCC student Alex Turner (20) at 73kg.
The JMJC has now won 93 total medals at the US Senior Nationals in the club’s 13-year history.