I got on my plane in Richmond (standby; very exciting) at 6:30 AM and stepped off at LAX at 11:15 AM west coast time. Kenny Savercool and I split a cab to the venue - $80. Ouch, but whatever.
Snake was first up. His division (Galo) had nine guys in it, which meant 3 to win for Snake for gold. Snake's first match went pretty well - Son was able to slow down enough to pass the guard and establish side control. As his opponent tried to turn away, Snake got his back and finished with a bow and arrow choke. Nice!
Next match was a lot tougher. Snake was down 9-4 with just 30 seconds to go when he got the kid's back. This meant he was still down 9-8. Snake got the bow and arrow choke once again, and the clock ticked down... 5.... 4.... 3... 2.... 1..... tap!! The kid tapped immediately before the whistle signified that time was up. Holy crap.
Finals match - Snake was taken down and mounted by a kid from Rey Diogo's gym, another Carlson Gracie team gym. It's cool that two Carlson guys closed it out, but would have been a little cooler if Snake had won. Still, silver at the Mundial is not bad at all.
Devin was up next - pena, or featherweight. Devin lost on points to the guy who took 2nd, Takahashi (I think). The kid had a great guard and was able to sweep Devin and eventually pass his gaurd. Tough draw for his first match. Devin fought hard, though.
Parker and Tommy were both in lightweight (leve). Parker won 3 matches, subbing 2 guys (triangle and armlock from the triangle) before losing a close match 2-0. Tommy won and then lost 2-0 to the eventual champion, Chris from Alliance.
Good day for our guys overall. We had Korean BBQ to finish the day, and I gained five pounds.
Friday was a bit more relaxed for me. Ryan Hall ended up taking 3rd in his weight division, which Zak Maxwell went on to win in dramatic fashion (omoplata to the back to lapel choke). Somehow I managed to spend pretty much all day at the venue anyway.
Saturday saw Valerie Worthington winning her 2 matches in her weight division, setting up Sunday's absolute finals. There were a lot more great matches I'll write about later, maybe.