Students from the Pavilion martial arts programs have enjoyed major success at the state and national levels this summer.
Emily Mather made it a worthwhile trip to the nationals at the State Games of America in Virginia.
The tournament brings together state medalists from all over the country to compete for national titles.
Mather is a student of sensei Bradley Wells in the Georgetown Scott County Parks and Recreation martial arts program, where her father, Don, also teaches. She is a three-event Kentucky state champion for the second year in a row.
In a contest with a boy who is Florida state champion, the two competitors tied for gold. It put the young man in a situation he does not usually find himself, a runoff round.
Mather lost a split decision.She brought home a silver medal for forms, a bronze medal in weapons, and a second silver medal in sparring.
She qualified for the nationals through her consecutive wins in the Bluegrass State Games, with six gold medals in 2018 and 2019.
This year two new students in the program, Noah Etchison and Isabella Dixon, attended the state games in martial arts.
Etchison had a tough task in his first tournament, entering as an advanced student. He put in strong performances against an experienced field, meeting an exceptionally talented national top 10 competitor in the first round of sparring and not backing down. He made sensei Wells and his team proud.
Dixon, who is a little more seasoned, had equally strong performances in the beginning divisions, winning gold medals in both events she entered.
With their wins this year, Mather and Dixon both qualified for the biennial national games in Ames, Iowa, in 2021.