Cascia Student Wins Gold

LEO NAUMANN: The Cascia Hall senior won a first place gold medal at the Judo Junior Olympics National Championships last summer. He is also a member of the Cascia Hall Varsity Wrestling Team.

Leo Naumann, Cascia senior and varsity wrestler, spends much of his spare time training and competing in the sport of judo, with the dream of someday representing the United States in the Olympics. Naumann took a step closer to that dream this past summer by winning a gold medal at the Junior Olympics National Championships, where a first-place finish had barely eluded him the past several years.

Then, just several days later, he travelled to Hawaii to compete in the United States Judo Federation’s Junior Nationals, where having backed off his strict diet, he fought in the next weight up and took fourth place – a slight disappointment after last year’s gold medal win.

At the invitation of the Judo, Naumann skipped what would have been a week of vacation in Hawaii and travelled straight to El Salvador to compete in the Pan American Junior Championships, where he fought and lost to the bronze medalist.

Since Naumann was eight years old, he has been travelling back and forth across the continent, seeking competition with the very best judo players in the country. This degree of travel is just as necessary as a strict diet, lifting weights and cardio-vascular training in order to make the Olympic team. In fact, he drives two hours to Moore, Okla., just to practice, three days a week during the school year and four times a week in the summer.

Though Naumann started judo in Tulsa when he was five, after five years of his dad’s coaching, his father, Lee Naumann, decided Leo needed to be coached by 1972 and 1976 Olympian and seven-time national champion Patrick Burris at his training facility in Moore. It’s very likely Naumann will end up not too far from Moore after graduation next year as he continues his quest for Olympic gold.

Updated 10-28-2014

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