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Local taekwondo students punch their tickets to national contest

Summer Thornton (left) of Granite Shoals competes in a sparring match at the Texas Taekwondo State Championship on March 13-14. She captured bronze medals in board breaking and sparring in the 12- to 14-year-old female cadet green belts division and will compete in the national championships July 4-11 in Austin. Courtesy photo

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

GRAPEVINE — Highland Lakes residents Summer Thornton, Camille Justice and David Justice finished in the top three of their divisions of the 2015 Texas Taekwondo State Championship on March 13-14. All three are now headed to the national competition.

Thornton, of Granite Shoals, captured bronze medals in board breaking and sparring in the 12- to 14-year-old female cadet green belts division.

Camille Justice, of Burnet, won the gold medal in poomse, or forms, and the silver in Olympic-style sparring in the 18- to 32-year-old female senior yellow belts division.

David Justice, of Burnet, was a double-gold medalist by winning poomse and Olympic-style sparring in the 41- to 50-year-old male ultra senior green belts division.

All three study under the direction of Master Chung Lee of the Family Taekwondo Center in Marble Falls. Chung opened the school, located at 1405 Morman Mill Road, in August.

“They’re all first-time competitors,” Lee said about his three students. “I was very surprised and at the same time ecstatic.”

Lee said one of the biggest challenges in sparring is the different styles, adding it wasn’t easy to get his students ready for the state championship.

Much like boxing, Taekwondo athletes earn points for blows that strike different parts of the body with one twist. Kicks are allowed. Each round is a minute in length. Because of the number of entries in each division, the format was single elimination. 

The national championships are July 4-11 in Austin.

For more about the Family Taekwondo Center, call (830) 693-4300 or go to youcankick.com.

jfierro@thepicayune.com