Friday night, my teammate Andrew Babeu and I drove down to the night-before weigh-ins in Ashland, VA for the US Grappling Richmond tournament. Andrew weighed in at 201 lbs and I weighed in at 157.5 lbs, both of us making weight! We drove back up to Fredericksburg to meet our teammates Josh Wehrmann and Bill Nagle for dinner at Olive Garden for a little post weigh-in feast - yum! After dinner we followed Bill back to his Dad's house (he lives in Fredericksburg) to get a good night's sleep before heading off to the tournament in the morning!
The plan was to wake up at 8:00am and head to IHOP for breakfast. But at around 7:45AM Andrew thought it would be "hilarious" to set off his alarm and throw his phone into my room to wake me up! But because I was already awake before he did this and could hear him snickering outside my door, I knew he was up to something. I wasn't sure what, but because I grew up with five brothers I was ready for just about anything. I thought someone might come running in to jump on me, or shake me awake, or something crazy like that. Luckily for me, all he did was turn his alarm on and throw his phone at me. Soooooo......I guess the guys had decided they wanted to leave by 8:00 instead of wake up at 8:00......next time how about you just knock on the door and wake me up.......boys.........sigh.
Michelle Welti (Blue) vs. Lo Menzies (White)
After IHOP we made our way over to the tournament. Our coach, Dave Trader got stuck in the typically awful I-95 traffic on his way down, but ended up making it before my first match started. I was the first competitor up for Team Dave Trader in my Women's Advanced No-Gi Absolute division. My first match went well - I got the takedown , passed the guard, got the mount and ended up winning on points. My second match was again Lo Menzies, a great competitor from BJJ Revolution in Richmond! She was one of the toughest girls I've competed against. She pulled guard and I almost got caught in a triangle early on. I did manage to escape, but had to give up the sweep in the process. The rest of the match was pretty much fought from my guard, with lots of attempted arm locks. Unfortunately I just couldnt manage to lock any of them in and ended up losing 2-0...that darn sweep! The next division was the Women's Blue Belt up to 158 lbs division. My first match as against Lo again. We had a hard 6 minute match and she ended up beating me in a very close match on points again. My next match went a bit better. I got an Osoto Gari, landed in side control, and quickly finished my opponent with an Americana to place second. My final match of the day was in the Women's Blue Belt Absolute. I attempted to throw on my much heavier opponent, but missed and ended up on my back fighting from my guard for the remainder of the match. I really need to work on my judo. So overall, I placed 2nd in all three of my divisions - not what I wanted but I got some good matches and know what I need to work on.
Andrew Babeu (left) vs. LJ Hand (right)
Andrew, despite his best attempts to convince Dave he should only fight in the teen division, fought in all 6 divisions open to him. He finished the day with 5 medals overall placing 1st in both the Teen Advanced Gi and No-Gi, 2nd in the Men's Beginner No-Gi Absolute and No-Gi up to 202lbs, and 1st in the Men's White Belt up to 202lbs.
Big Josh fought in the Men's White Belt Ultra Heavy Weight division and Men's While Belt Absolute, making quick work of all his opponents and placing 1st in both.