Local martial arts academy cleans up at national event

The students of a Bel Air martial arts academy recently had a fine showing at a national Taekwondo event, with 22 of the athletes bringing home medals.

The U.S. Taekwondo Academy, which is headquartered on North Main Street in Bel Air, sent dozens of its pupils to Chicago for the USA Taekwondo National Championships, July 3 - 8. Of those athletes, 14 brought home gold, three won silver, and five took bronze medals.

"It has been a long, but exciting, road for all of us as coaches, students and parents," Senior Master C.J. Chang said. "The practice sessions, the financial and emotional commitments, as well as the wins and losses along the way, have all culminated to this point to bring out the very best in all of us. With every match and local tournament used as a stepping stone, our students have grown and matured both physically and mentally. It is simply an honor to be the only school in Harford County to provide such an invaluable experience to these students as they reach the top and compete at Nationals."

The medal winners were: Joseph Radvany, gold in sparring; Christopher Gamboa, gold in sparring; Abigail Finley, gold in sparring and board breaking; Carrie Motes, gold in poomsae; Abigail Fisk, gold in board breaking; Jacob Chung, gold in sparring; Sarah Arvey, gold in sparring; Spencer Pasion, gold in poomsae, board breaking and sparring; Harry Agins, gold in poomsae, board breaking and sparring; Lesly Benitez, silver in sparring; Marina Miller, silver in sparring; Francisco Loayza, silver in sparring; Breanna Curran, bronze in sparring; Ruth Diaz, bronze in board breaking; Dillon Foy, bronze in sparring; Emanuel Diaz, bronze in sparring; Sarah Arvey, bronze in board breaking.

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