World champion helps local taekwondo students grab gold

POSTED: 6:21 PM Jul 18 2013
07 18 taekwondo champions
MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY -

A team of 12 from Lewis' Taekwondo & Elite Martial Arts grabbed several medals after competing at the Amateur Athletic Union Taekwondo National Championships.

"Last year we had three national champions. This year we took twelve and ended up with four national champions, five silver medalists and three bronze medalists." said Master Russell Lewis.

Two-time Taekwondo World Champion Russell Lewis, who is a 6th Degree Black Belt teaches the students along with his wife Jennifer Lewis who is a 4th Degree Black Belt and certified instructor. They say each student that competed nationally had to qualify at a state level.

"I was really proud. Some of the kids would train on the weekends, even when I wasn't here they would come in with the coaches, Nathan and Lauren and get them prepared." said Master Russell Lewis.

Master Russell Lewis says watching his older students coaching the younger ones is more of a reward than the medals themselves.

"That's  probably the best part I mean some of these kids, like Nathan who is one of our  biggest coaches,is now a 16-year-old. I got him on his fourth birthday. So I've seen him kind of grow up, I've watched him win state tiles. Just watching them start from a white-belt kid running around to coaching someone through a national title himself!" said Master Russell Lewis.

The Lewis' say they hope to take a bigger team to the national competition next year and in the future, possibly head to the Junior Olympics.

Here are the final results:

Master Russ Lewis (6th Degree Black Belt) - Gold Medal Men's Master’s Forms Division, Silver Medal in Black Belt Men’s Heavyweight Fighting
Master Jennifer Lewis (4th Degree Black Belt) - Silver Medal Women's Master's Division
Nathan Ameen (3rd Degree Black Belt) - Silver Medal 16/17 Black Belt Forms 2nd degree & up
Lauren Wagaman 2nd Degree Black Belt) – Bronze Medal 16/17 Black Belt Girls Middleweight Fighting
Logan Jones (2nd Degree Black Belt) – Gold Medal 12/13 Black Belts Boy Lightweight Fighting
Trent Piner – Gold Medal 12/13 Advanced Heavyweight Fighting
Colten Rodriquez - Silver Medal 8/9 Advanced Forms, Bronze Medal in 8/9 Advanced Lightweight Fighting
Samantha Mason - Gold Medal in 8/9 Advanced Girls Middleweight Fighting
Max Miller – Silver Medal in 10/11 Advanced Boys Middleweight Fighting
Nathanael Kelleher – Bronze Medal in 6/7 Intermediate Boys Middleweight Fighting
JP Rickabaugh – 14/15 Heavyweight Boys
Noah Plisko – 14/15 Heavyweight Boys