Sunday, February 25, 2018

State Tournament Season

Its that time of year in Minnesota again, state tournament season and that means road trips, banquets and snow.  Yep, if there is a state tournament, the probability of snow goes up fourfold. Although this usually occurs during state hockey, this year it was state taekwondo and gymnastics.

MN Taekwondo decided NOT to host a state tournament this year. The only problem with that? The only way to qualify for nationals is to compete in a state tournament so ... we had the choice of Iowa this weekend or Wisconsin in March, which directly conflicts with our spring break. Needless to say, we took the Iowa option.  Off to Des Moines we go!!

Billy and I road tripped with Kristin and Esa (our travel buddies) again and managed to be on the road on Friday by 3:30 despite my car breaking down, having to get towed twice and snow night before of 4 inches.  Thankfully Kristin loves to drive so she's our pilot (pun intended, she was a fighter pilot in the army so we are in good hands).

We managed to roll into registration and weigh in around 7pm.  The Iowa tournament organizers are shockingly organized and were ready for the onslaught.  Both Esa and Billy had to get down to their skivvies to make weight (in gender appropriate locker rooms of course) and both came in a hair under the limit. Whew! Even Billy was a bit nervous and finally relented to peeing - magic ticket!  This is good from the perspective that they are then the biggest in their weight class. However, what we learned the next day was disappointing. They HAVE to compete at Nationals at the weight they registered for in State even though Nationals is 5 months later. Seriously, these are kids. They grow. A lot. Urghh...

Still unaware of this knowledge, we headed to the hotel (gorgeous!) and dinner (extremely yummy).  There were warm cookies, free drink coupons, amazing steak and pasta and the friendliest staff.  The DoubleTree in Des Moines really is a great hotel!  Esa even said.. lets eat here for every meal!

After a fun dinner, we headed back up to the room for a post dinner glass of wine, Myth Busters and decompression. Kristin was responsible and dragged Esa to their room after 1 episode of Myth Busters (poop and gummy bears as rocket fuel).  Billy and I were not and got sucked into another episode (old west shoot out and which is more accurate, slow and deliberate aim or rapid fire shots).

Finally it was lights out and a good night sleep.

Saturday we woke up to freezing rain and the threat of Snowstorm Polly to our north. We were watching the weather closely with the hopes that we could compete and get home without getting stranded in Iowa.

When we got the venue we learned that Esa didnt have anyone to compete against, so she just accepted her medal and qualified for nationals. It is disappointing though to be all ready to compete and not get the opportunity.

Billy faired slightly better. He had 1 competitor but the kid had a full 5 inches on him. No idea how that kids made weight.  Billy fought a great defensive match but admittedly could have been more aggressive on offense. Billy was definitely the better sparrer technically and strategically but its hard to get a ton of points (head shots) when the person you are fighting towers over you.  He fought the good fight.  He took 2nd and is headed to nationals.  Billy is such an impressive competitor.

We had rare permission to leave the meet before it was over in an effort to avoid Polly and as we were headed out the door, we learned of the weight class rules for nationals AND learned that - yes indeed - there IS a MN state tournament that got added last minute in Detroit Lakes next weekend.  This is a good news/bad news scenario -  Good news, Billy and Esa have a chance to fight up a weight class and circumvent the weight issue of not being able to fight at nationals.  Bad news, Iowa was a redundant trip, we didnt have to go to ... there was a MN meet. AND, we wouldn't have to go to the MN meet if we had known that they should have fought in a higher weight class in Iowa.  TKD is a serious disaster when it comes to communication, organization and attention to details.  I know I can't change it, I know its never going to change and I'm extremely crabby about it.

The 1st 45 min of the drive home was me bitching about TKD - I'm sure that was fun for Kris.

But, she's a trouper and we were able to thread the needle on the storm. We had sleet most of the way but didnt hit the heavy stuff until we were 30 min from home.  We made it home in record  TKD time at 3:15pm.  Enough time to shower, get organized and turn around to go see Kay compete at state ( thats our next blog).

So, off to Detroit Lakes next weekend.... sigh.

Love you Billy!!

Cute photos though...

warming up

2nd place

sweaty happy silver medal

Here some good footage of Billy's meet ...

Sparring 1
Sparring 2
Sparring 3
Sparring 4
Sparring 5
Sparring 6
Sparring 7
 Sparring 8
Sparring 9