The good thing about the Lone Wolf Karate Tournament -- Northern California's largest, mind you -- is that it ends on time. For both fans and participants of these mega-hi-yah hoedowns, where hundreds of gi-clad kids compete all day long, this remains no small accomplishment. Everyone delights in a speedy roundhouse to the jaw. No one likes a grueling wait for the championship match. "We make it a priority to keep things moving," says organizer Doug Jones. "We don't want people getting home at 11 p.m. We get our kids home by 6 p.m."
The Lone Wolf attracts so many fighters because it also kicks off the local Gold Cup Circuit, an eight-month-long season for budding karate kids. Fighters collect points as they go along, and come November, whoever is left standing in his division gets crowned grand champion, which translates to, arguably, the Quickest Hands in the Bay Area.
"We take down thirty kids to Lone Wolf," says Jones, who's also an instructor, "and we come back with thirty trophies."
Anyone who would like to prove him wrong is cordially invited to arrive at De Anza High School, 5300 Valley View in Richmond, Saturday morning. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Competition fee is $50. For more information, visit GoldCupCircuit.com -- Justin Berton
Cal women try to move up
The toughest obstacle for the Cal women's water polo team in climbing the national rankings is that of the five teams above it, three of them -- No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, and No. 3 Stanford -- are Pac-10 conference rivals. This afternoon (Wednesday), coach Amber Drury-Pinto's Golden Bears, led by junior All-American Jodie Needles, senior Lauren Dennis, and sophomore Brittani Llorente, take to the water against UC Davis at Spieker Aquatic Complex on the UCB campus (4 p.m.). Then, after a quick trip south to play at San Diego State, the female dunkers host Hartwick College (Oneonta, New York), Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at Spieker. For more info, visit CalBears.ocsn.com -- Kelly Vance
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