LONG BEACH, Calif. — Four Missoula athletes competed in the Kids Pan American Championships for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recently.

A total of 1,500 competitors from around the world were on hand, including local grapplers, Lakoda, Cayden, Kalijah, Colton and Keara Wieczorek.

Colton and Keara Wieczorek took gold in each of their divisions and Kalijah Wieczorek fought his way to bronze. Lakoda Wieczorek was barely edged out by his opponent in a match that came down to a referee’s decision, placing him third in his bracket.

“I was again reminded that our athletes from Montana are some of the best in the world and they showed it by joining the world’s best on the awards podium," said coach Gus Nolte, co-owner of Straight Blast Gym. "I couldn’t be prouder of our tribe."

Results — 1st place: Keara Wieczorek, Grey Belt, 1, Female Heavy; Colton Wieczorek, Yellow Belt, Teen 3, Male Light Feather; Third place: Kalijah Wieczorek, Yellow Belt, 3, Male Feather; Lakoda Wieczorek, Yellow Belt, Teen 1, Male light Feather.

Missoulian staff