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Two JMJC team members win national judo titles

Jason Morris Judo Center athletes Nick Kossor and Kyle Vashkulat won national titles at last weekend's US Judo Championships in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Kossor (24) took the 60-kilogram title by winning all four matches by ippon (full point). Along the way, he defeated top-ranked Aaron Kunihiro in the semifinals with an uchimata (inner leg throw) for ippon.

Vashkulat (19) breezed to his second consecutive 100kg final at nationals with three consecutive ippons. He then threw Myles Porter in the finals to earn his second national goal medal, adding to the one he won in the open division in 2008.

Vashkulat and Kossor earned berths to the world judo championships, which take place Sept. 8-13 in Tokyo. It's the first trip to worlds for Kossor, who overcame two reconstructive knee surgeries and a wrist injury in the last three years.

JMJC also picked up four bronze medals and a fifth-place finish at nationals.

Natalie Lafon (29) bounced back from a first-round loss to place third in the 52kg weight class. Lafon lost to eventual champion Anjelica Delgado on a disqualification with one second left in her match after picking up her fourth stalling penalty. JMJC coaches protested the call to no avail.

Angela Creutzberger (19) won her third conse-cutive bronze medals at 48kg, with her lone loss coming to Katlyn Bouysou in the semifinals. Tony Sangimino (19) won his first national medal by picking up a bronze at 90kg, while Hannah Martin (21) took third place in the 57kg weight class. It was Martin's fifth consecutive national medal.

Jake Stromecki (20) finished fifth in the open weight class and placed seventh at 100kg for JMJC.

Vashkulat, Kossor, Lafon, Martin, Creutzber-ger, Sangimino and Stro-mecki are among the JMJC members expected to participate in Saturday's Morris Cup Tournament at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.

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