Orange-Belt Teen Wins First Place In Phoenix Competition


He's only 13 years old, but Victor Diaz has already realized several accomplishments in the sport of self defense.

The Rim Country Middle School seventh grader's most recent medal-winning effort was turned in Saturday at the Embassy Suites hotel in Phoenix. There, Diaz took first place in fighting and third place in forms.

According to Victor's mother Leticia, the youngster was the only Payson athlete entered in the competition sponsored by MKT Productions.

One year ago, at the Institute of Self Defense tournament in Casa Grande, Diaz battled his way to second place in fighting and third in forms.

Victor, who holds an orange belt in the sport, says he plans on returning to tournament action in May.

In Payson, Victor studies under Larry Sheehan.

Only one Rim angler

Payson resident John Browning hooked up with Jerry Suk of Phoenix to finish 10th in the AllStar Bass team Invitational Tournament held Feb. 25 at Bartlett Lake. Browning was the only local angler to finish among the top-10 money winners.

Browning and his partner weighed in 9.18 pounds of fish and received $1,300 in prize money.

Jim Wickham of Morristown and Dwane Bishop of Wickenburg captured the tournament championship by weighing in a six-fish limit that tipped the scales at 13.26 pounds. In their catch was a 5.64 pound lunker that copped the tournament's Big Fish award.

The winning duo drop-shotted finesse worms among the large boulders north of the main launch ramp on the west side of the lake.

For their win, the two received checks totally $4,565.

Other popular fishing strategies included fishing jigs and crankbaits on mainlake points.

According to AllStar spokesman Tom Stiles, Bartlett finally yielded some nice limits to 51 of the 105 teams that entered the fray.

The next AllStar Bass team tournament is slated for March 31 at Alamo Lake. Call (480) 894-2775 for more information.

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