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Manteca Judo looking for strong showing in Nationals
Four of the Manteca Judo Club students are enjoying a great deal of success this summer. Front from L- Michael Sarmento and Calvin Trotter. Back from L- Jordan Trotter and Sarah Phillips. - photo by GLENN KAHL

After putting together a strong showing during the California Judo Championships in San Francisco in May, three of the Manteca Judo Club standouts are looking to put their talents on the national stage during the 2010 United States Junior National Championships in Irvine this weekend.

The national tournament will put the best of the best in martial arts alongside one another for arguably the most important tournament of the season.

The Manteca Judo Club’s Jordan Trotter, Calvin Trotter and Sarah Phillips will be showcasing their skills in hopes of taking their undeniable talents to the next level.

“These kids are going to get a lot of experience during Nationals,” Manteca judo club sensei Joe Franco said. “They are going to really get their skills better as well. They’ve been through state and it is a platform into nationals, so I know that this tournament will make them a better judoka.

“This is going to make them stronger in mind and in body.”

Phillips heads into nationals after winning her division in the state tournament. Phillips, who is 14 years old, was undefeated in her two matches at state, beating an opponent that was a full nine pounds heavier than her on her way to the title.

Jordan Trotter left San Francisco with a fourth place finish in the 11-year-old boys division, while little brother Calvin (8-years-old) earned a second place medal at state.

The group rolled into the Santa Clara Invitational, which is the final tune-up for the judo circuit before nationals. The Manteca Club continued to shine brightly, bringing home three first place finishes and amassing an 8-2 record as a group.

Michael Sarmento was a perfect 3-0 in the invitational at Santa Clara High, taking care of his division with ease. Both Jordan and Calvin dropped a single match on their way to first place medals.

Now the group will head south and try to continue with its summer-long success.

“Now it all depends on how well they do,” Franco said. “They’re conditioned well; they’ve trained hard and we are talking the Nationals. It’s going to be the best in the United States and we will get to see how well they have trained for this.”