Two athletes from Cochrane's Ippon Karate Dojo have been selected for Canada's National Karate Team that will be competing at the Junior Pan Am Championships in Brazil in August.

Brooklyn Carter will be competing in U21 kata and Lina Kokame in female cadet (ages 14-15) for Canada after placing in the top two of their division at nationals in Laval, QC. 

Kokame won silver in the female cadet 47 kg category. To achieve her first national medal, she demonstrated remarkable maturity and skill in every match, says Adam Wackershauser, chief instructor of the Ippon Karate Dojo.

Carter finished in the top three in U21 women's kata. After winning in the 16-17 division last year and training hard, she retained her place on the national team, says Wackershauser.

Indiana Carlyle-Biford won a bronze medal after moving up an age category.

"She fought fiercely, showing consistency and skill, and proved once again why she is such an exceptional athlete," says Wackershauser. 

Piper Keegan earned her first medal in junior kumite with an outstanding performance. Wackershauser says her dedication and hard work were evident in each match, showcasing her rapidly developing skills.

Evan Squires finished fifth in cadet kata, narrowly missing the bronze. Zac Raymond secured fifth place in one of the most competitive divisions, demonstrating resilience and focus throughout.

"In addition to these impressive results, we had numerous top seven and top nine finishes and incredible moments with three comeback athletes this year," says Wackershauser.

The Cochrane-based dojo sent 13 athletes to nationals, hosted by Laval, QC, forming about a third of Team Alberta. He says they were up against some large teams from Ontario, Quebec and B.C. in the championship. Nationwide, there were 780 entries.

Wackershauser praised Sensei Uchiage Hidemi for putting in endless hours to ensure the athletes were well-prepared and supported. He says it's been an incredible season with some dramatic moments.

"We had a number of three athletes come back after taking time off who all performed really well in very competitive division. They didn't medal this year, but they did great. Everybody else put in a strong showing and we had several on the cusp of medals.

"We had a couple of heartbreaking moments where the calls went the other way, but everybody really performed well. We received compliments on the sportsmanship of our athletes and their determination and leadership skills."

The two athletes advancing to the Junior Pan Am Championships have the week off before returning to training.

"As a proud Sensei, I can’t wait to get back to the dojo and continue preparing our athletes." says Wackershauser.