DRKA shines at Krane Nationals

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The Don Rogrigues Karate Academy took nine of its students to the recent Krane Nationals at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick and walked away with 22 medals on the day.

Teams traveled from places like Georgia, Maryland, Washington DC, New York, and all throughout the New England to compete in the event.

Kathryn Tian led the team with five gold medals and the Women’s Black Belt Overall Fighting and Weapons Grand Championship. Ashley Sacrey captured two gold medals and the Women’s Black Belt Forms Grand Championship as well.

Also competing from Team Rodrigues and capturing medals were Hunter Stromberg, who won four gold medals, Romeo Hallbauer with one gold and one bronze, Andrew Hallbauer with one gold and Matthew Martin with one gold as well. It was Martin’s first-ever competition.

John D’Angelo IV took home two silver medals while Anthony Zangari claimed another silver medal. Cindy Gabriel also won a silver medal.

Team Rodrigues Karate, who was sponsored by Ocean State Collision from Pawtucket, finished the tournament with 14 gold medals, four silver medals, one bronze medal and three overall Grand Championships.

“Our team did incredible. We only brought nine students but came home with 22 medals, so it was a good tournament. I was very proud with how our team did. They had been working hard to get to that point and did a terrific job,” said Don Rodrigues of his team’s outing.

The Krane Nationals marked the final large tournament of the season for the Don Rodrigues Academy. The school will now compete in a few smaller competitions, as well as host its annual Toy Drive event in December to close out the year.

Moving forward, the focus will be on continuing to serve the Rhode Island community, and to prepare for another busy season in 2020.

“Our goal is to continue to work with our students and to hopefully introduce some new ones. Many of the returning students will be moving up next year, some of which will be moving from 17 to the adult division,” said Rodrigues. “For now, it’s preparing everyone to compete in their new divisions which is good, and then hopefully we can keep it going after that.”

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