Lewis TKD sends eight to nationals next week
by: John Brewington FINALIST—Stephanie Toney is finalist for the Chris Canning Award of Excellence in Taekwondo.

Stephanie Toney, a student at Lewis TKD School, is a finalist for the prestigious national Chris Canning Award of Excellence in taekwondo and a candidate for the USAT National Team.

Toney, 14, is a 98-pound, second-degree black belt and an incoming freshman at St. Helens High School.

She is one of eight team members of Lewis TKD that will attend the national tournament in San Diego, June 28-July 3. If she medals in her division, she will be invited to try out for the national team that will compete in the Junior Pan Am Games. Another Lewis student, and #8200;Ashley Jobin was also a national qualifier.

Grand Master Wade Lewis is the coach of the Oregon contingent attending nationals next week. All five members of his coaching staff will attend and coach the Oregon team on the floor of the competition. There will be 6,000-7,000 competitors at nationals, and 63 players in each division.

Toney is the only non-USAT National team members to be considered for the Chris Canning award. Canning died in an accident in 2001 at the age of 15. He was a very accomplished athlete in three sports, a classical pianist, and earned his black belt in just four years. He also volunteered at an animal shelter and helped the homeless and needy.

Others nominated for the award come from across the country-Chicago, Ill.; Ashburn, Va; Hillsborough, Calif.; and Milford, Mass. The award has been presented for six years.

Stephanie's brother Scott, 11, is also a second-degree black belt.

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