Moriah athlete claims national championship

PORT HENRY Angelina Burow has high hopes and why not? Burrow has her sights set on becoming an Olympian after winning the Tae Kwon Do national championship for point sparring this summer. My ultimate goals are to make the Olympics and to train in Korea with traditional Tae Kwon Do masters, the 18-year-old Witherbee resident said. Burow is a student at the Moriah Martial Arts Center in Port Henry. Her instructor, Nestor Rodriguez, believes she is capable of excelling in the sport. She trains hard; shes one of our most committed students, Rodriguez said of Burow. Tae Kwon Do has helped her realize her potential and that she has the ability to overcome obstacles. A red belt, Burow is on track to become a black belt this year. In July she won the gold medal in point sparring, a silver medal in Olympic sparring and a bronze medal in forms at the Amateur Athletic Union national championships in Florida. It was her second trip to the national championship meet. In 2006 she won a gold medal in points parring a well. Tae Kwon Do is more than a sport for Burow. You can feel the spiritual parts of it when training, she said, and I love the discipline. It keeps me away from drugs; I dont party. Im all about training. Its an important part of my life. Its also a social outlet. You meet a lot of nice people, Burow said of Tae Kwon Do competition. Everyone is very respectful. Martial artists are the best people you meet in life. Roxanne LaBounty, 38, of Ticonderoga, also reached the national championship meet in Florida. A black belt, Labounty did not place while competing in the point sparring, Olympic sparring and forms. A year ago she reached the nationals as a red belt, winning a silver medal in point sparring. It was a great experience, LaBounty said of nationals. I did better as a coach than I did as a participant. Burrow credits LaBounty with helping her succeed. It was great to have her with me at nationals, Burow said. She really helped me. LaBounty said the benefits of Tae Kwon Do far exceed medals. I like the physical training, she said. Its a good stress reliever and instills discipline that carries over into everyday life. Plus, its always good to be able to defend yourself. LaBounty started Tae Kwon Do six years ago when her children expressed an interest. She was here waiting for her kids and decided to join in, said Dave Mandy assistant instructor. Shes stuck with it and stayed dedicated. Rodriguez noted that members of the Moriah Martial Arts Center have attended national competition thanks to community support and sponsors. Every person who buys a candy bar when we have our sales helps out, he said. Sponsors the past two years have included Beth and Frank Slycord of Franks Knotty Pine, Georges Restaurant, Port Henry Service Center, Port Henry Mobil, Salernos Liquors and Wines and Ralph Cowin.

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