BARSTOW — Isaiah Ramirez continues to rack up impressive accomplishments as the No. 1-ranked 53kg Judoka in the nation.
Isaiah, 14, of Barstow, won a gold medal after sweeping his division Nov. 12 in the Dominican Republic at the Infantil Pan American Championships, which saw 15 different countries represented by Judokas. Isaiah was one of just two Americans in the under-15 division to earn a gold medal.
This was Isaiah’s fourth time competing in the Infantil Pan American Championships; he had previously won two silver medals.
Isaiah is currently in Irving, Texas for the National President's Cup, which begins Sunday.
Isaiah, who has been the No. 1-ranked Judoka in his division for three straight years, said he is honored to compete for his country and wear the USA patch on the back of his Judo Gi. He also feels a great sense of joy, triumph and pride in himself, he said.
“My favorite aspect of competing is that feeling of pride and relief when all my dedication and hard work led to my success,” said Isaiah, who has been competing in judo for nine years. “It's been a daily commitment since I was 5 years old.”
Among his other previous accomplishments was being crowned state champion at the 2014 California USA Freestyle Wrestling State Championships, as he represented the Riffians Wrestling Club of Barstow in the 11- and 12-year-old, 90-pound division, just one week after winning a state 42 kg division Judo title.
Earlier this year Isaiah won a gold medal and was awarded the Outstanding Male Trophy for his performance in the USA Jr. Olympic and Jr. International Judo Championships held in Texas in June.
Isaiah, a straight-A freshman at Barstow High School, said he still wrestles at school and his goal is to make the USA Judo Olympic team. He also plans to go to college to major in sports medicine.
Isaiah follows in his father’s footsteps as a Judoka. He is the son of Barstow Police Department Chief Albert Ramirez, who also trained with Ernie Smith of the Barstow Judo Club.
Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-955-5332 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DD_JQuintero.