CALGARY, Alberta — Nate Keeve and Hannah Martin from the Glenville-based Jason Morris Judo Center put together fantastic performances and earned bronze medals in the Pan Am/Oceania Judo Championships, Sept. 15-16 at the Calgary Olympic Park.
The win was Martin’s fourth 63 kg medal at Pan Ams in her career, having won bronzes in 2013, 2017, and 2019. Martin’s only loss was an overtime thriller to eventual champ, Katharina Haecker, in the semifinal. Martin also had a big win against longtime rival and two-time Pan Am Champ, Maylin Del Toro Carvajal, to tie up their head-to-head series 2-2. Martin gained valuable points on the Olympic qualifying list, moving up 8 spots to #32.
Keeve scored his second 100 kg overall bronze at the Pan Ams, finishing his run off with a significant first time win over Rafael Buzacarini in the bronze medal match. Keeve jumps 20 slots to #39 to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games.
Both Keeve and Martin are on remarkable comebacks. Keeve missed a year having to repair a torn ACL in August 2021, and Martin had a baby girl, Zoey, in May 2021.
Alex Knauf placed fifth at 90 kg and Ari Berliner took seventh for the JMJC at 66 kg to earn valuable world ranking points. Berliner is also on a successful comeback from ACL surgery he had in August 2022. Kell Berliner, Melissa Myers, and Nicole Stout all fought well but were eliminated in the first round to close out the JMJC participation at this year’s Pan Ams.
Athletes from the Jason Morris Judo Center have now won 26 Pan Am medals in its 23-year history, as well as having now placed at least one athlete on the Pan Am team for 20 straight years. The JMJC has placed four athletes on the team 7 times and had three athletes 5 times. Ari Berliner, Keeve, Knauf & Martin also represent the New York Athletic Club.
“All the kids performed well under high level pressure and I couldn’t be prouder of them” said four-time Olympian & JMJC Owner Jason Morris in a press release. Morris is also a long time member of the NYAC.