A few veteran members of the Crazy 88 Kids competition team journeyed out to the west coast to compete in the Kids Pan American Championships. The Pan Americans is a much different tournament than the local and regional tournaments that are held on the east coast.The Pan Ams is a “international” event. It is the second largest tournament in the United States for kid competitors so the skill level is extremely high. Crazy 88 sent out returning 2011 Pan American Silver medalist Seth Fillers, Vanessa Fillers (Seth’s sister) and the oldest member of the squad, Madeline Donnelly.
This year would mark the second time Crazy 88 had “kid” competitors at an international event. The format of the tournaments are different from the local ones but Crazy 88 sends adult competitors all over the world to compete so the coaches knew exactly what to expect. Coach Jon said that the traveling and the “big stage” didn’t phase the kids one bit. They were ready to compete!!!!
Many of the competitors arrived a few days before the competition to acclimated to the time difference and everything else. Thankfully for kids, this hardly bothers them! After a few practice session with their teammates from Camp Springs at the UFC gym everyone was on weight and ready to go. Seth and Vanessa Fillers were up first followed by Madeline a few hours later.
Seth Fillers had a BYE first round and had two tough matches to enter in the finals. In his first match Seth was able to get on the board first by scoring with a fierce double leg take down followed by an arm bar. In his second match he spent the majority of the time trying to pass the open guard. His opponent was extremely technical applying classic jiu jitsu techniques from his back the entire match. Seth was able to score an advantage for almost passing the guard and this would give Seth a spot in the finals. Seth would face the same competitor that he did in last years finals. Nothing better than a REMATCH for the GOLD!!!! This year Seth started the match off with a double leg to score first. After a few pass attempts Seth finally secured side control and then transitioned into mount. Seth pushed for the submission the entire match but his opponent was tough! Seth became the 2012 Pan American Champion beating the young man from the Ralph Gracie Academy that beat him last year 9-0! GREAT JOB SETH!
Vanessa Fillers is an extremely competitive young lady. She competes all year long in cheer leading and on top of that she trains almost everyday in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Vanessa faced an opponent with a similar style in terms of grappling. Her opponent was able to hold Vanessa off and executed a strategic game plan to win by 0-0,1-0 ( on advantages). Good job to Vanessa who is excited for her next competition!
Madeline Donnelly is somewhat of a veteran competitor. She has been training for multiple years and has competed in a handful of (local) tournaments. Although she is experienced she has never been to a international tournament which is vastly different from that local competition circuit. Madeline did not let this bother her at all. Although she had a smaller division she would face some tough competition. In her first match, she outpointed her opponent with take downs and guard passes. In the finals she would face a super tough girl competitor from a Carlson Gracie school. Madeline started out the match well, out gripping her opponent and controlling the mat but eventually fell prey to a throw. Madeline came back and was in the fight but made only a couple of crucial mistakes that allowed her opponent to capitalize and win via points. Good Showing for Madeline as she takes home the Silver Medal. This is most likely the first of many international medals as she looks forward to more international events!
As usual the kids are already back to training hard and having fun getting ready for the next big one!