Topic: Athletics

April 28, 2008

While Ball State University is known for many of its academic programs, it has a lesser-known distinction: an award-winning judo team with a nationally ranked member.

The Ball State Judo Club is a recreational club with 24 members. Its faculty adviser is Michael Kutis, a technician in Ball State's geology department.

Mohamed Goodwin, a sophomore majoring in telecommunications and native of Washington, D.C., won a silver medal in the 100kg division of the 2008 National Collegiate Championship judo competition. The contest was held March 28-29 in Menomonie, Wis., and Goodwin's ranking earned him status as a Collegiate All-American.

"I'm competitive," Goodwin said. "I don't like to just practice stuff and not be able to use it."

To earn his silver medal, Goodwin defeated opponents from the U.S. Military Academy and Texas A&M University in the finals. He defeated his Texas A&M opponent first, but lost to his West Point opponent in the second match. He defeated his Texas A&M and West Point opponents in the third and fourth matches, respectively.

Goodwin said he got into judo briefly as a kid until the school he attended was torn down. Upon discovering that Ball State had a team, he decided to join. Though Goodwin said he would have preferred to win first place in the competition, he still enjoys the thrill of judo, particularly the movement and throw techniques.

Kutis enjoys working with the club's members.

"I'm just helping these guys out, giving them an opportunity to compete," Kutis said.

By Alaric DeArment