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All members of BU karate club qualify for regional contest

March 26, 1997

Jennifer Paschal / The Baylor Lariat

Kelly Markworth, a San Antonio, senior, and Elizabeth Griffith, a Fort Worth, senior, practice a move in their karate class on Tuesday afternoon in Marrs McLean Gym.

By Kevin Allen

Lariat Sports Reporter

The Baylor Karate Club took home over 30 placing finishes at a competition Saturday in Arlington.

The team competed in the Southwestern American Athletic Union (AAU) Championships, the first qualifying tournament for the AAU National Championships in July. About 100 competitors from Central and North Texas participated in the tournament, including the 12 members of the Baylor team.

Each Baylor competitor qualified for the AAU Regional Championships in at least one event.

'I felt it was a very successful tournament,' said Scott Robinson, an assistant coach for the team.

In all, the team turned in 14 first-place finishes, competing in events including kumite and kata. Kumite is generally known as sparring, while kata is a type of form exercise to display the skill of the competitor.

The team was led by Joel Underwood, a New London sophomore, and Rachel Parker, an Albuquerque, N.M. sophomore, led the Baylor team. They both turned in first-place finishes in both kumite and kata. Robert Chandler, Lauda Sanders, and Frank Murray also turned in first-place finishes.

'We felt like we would do pretty good,' said Chandler. 'We have trained hard for the competition.'

Team members will continue training for the upcoming tournaments. The members practice three nights a week with the team, aside from personal training.

'It is a big time commitment,' said Underwood.

The team will compete in several tournaments in April, including the AAU Regional Championships on April 26. The team hopes to do well there, in order to qualify for the National Championships in Orlando in July.

In recent years, the team has done well at the national level. The Baylor Club has been represented at nationals for the past five or six years according to head coach James Melton. Last year, both Melton and Robinson won competitions at the AAU Nationals.

'The Karate Club always does well,' said Robinson. 'We sent people to the national competition last year, and I look forward to returning.'

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