NewsSara Golden

Athletes Selected for National Resident Training Center Team

by Nicole Jomantas

Three-time Senior World Team member Sara Golden (blue) is one of the first members of the USA Judo National Resident Training Center Team at the US Performance Center in Charlotte. (Photo by Nicole Jomantas)

(Colorado Springs, CO) – Ten athletes have been selected as members of the first-ever USA Judo National Resident Training Center Team.

The full-time program based out of the United States Performance Center at the University of North Carolina will launch on March 25 under the direction of Head Coach Robert Eriksson – the four-time Olympic Coach for Sweden who was tapped to lead the new program last year.

The program offers athletes access to in-state tuition and scholarships at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as well as access to judo training and a wide breadth of sports performance assistance, including sports medicine, sports psychology, nutrition, strength and conditioning and rehabilitation support. Team members also will receive support for housing, training and competition expenses.

The US Performance Center is home to resident teams from USA Field Hockey, USA Taekwondo and USA Rugby with bobsled and skeleton, football, archery and artistic swimming athletes all training at the facility as well throughout the year.

Eriksson has spent much of the last few months traveling throughout the United States to work with clubs and host training camps in multiple regions of the country, including the Winter National Team Training Camp in Charlotte which served as the first major judo event at the USPC as well as regional training camps and practice sessions at nearly a dozen clubs. 

“I have learned a lot during the last few months and am looking forward to working with athletes with the resources and environment at the USPC in cooperation with their home club coaches to help our athletes reach the next steps of their development in international competition,” Eriksson said.

The National Resident Training Center Team includes six men and four women, including five former Senior and Junior World Team members.

Sara Golden (Crystal Lake, IL / 63 kg) has represented Team USA at three Senior and three Junior World Championships. The 22-year-old won back-to-back gold medals at the Senior National Championships in 2021 and 2022 and served as a training partner for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Shavon Gonzalez (West Palm Beach, FL / 70 kg) is one of the sport’s rising stars. The 17-year-old earned seventh place finishes in at both the 2022 and 2023 Cadet World Championships and won bronze at the 2022 Senior Nationals at just 15 years old.

Twenty-one-year-old Isabella Garriga (Richmond, TX) broke through the international ranks in 2022 when she upset the World No. 1 to finish seventh at her second Junior World Championships. The two-time Senior Nationals medalist also qualified for her first Senior Pan American-Oceania Championship Team in 2023.

Jared Causse (Westminster, CA) made his Junior World debut last year at 20 years old where he earned a top-16 finish in the 100 kg division. In November, Causse won bronze in his debut on the IJF senior circuit, winning bronze at the Montreal Pan American Open.

The Korotich twins – eighteen-year-olds Ruslan and Danylo (Katy, TX) – also will be training in Charlotte. Ruslan represented Team USA at the 2023 Junior Worlds in the 73 kg division and Danylo is the top-ranked athlete in the United States in the IJF-Junior 81 kg division.  

The silver medalist in the 90 kg division at the 2023 Senior Nationals, 22-year-old Davit Aghasaryan (Sunland, CA) also won gold at the 2023 U.S. Open and is ranked third in the nation.

Twenty-two-year-old Bryan Davis (Monterey Park, CA) won his first Senior National Championship medal in 2023, taking bronze in the 81 kg division and following with a second bronze in November at the President’s Cup.

A 2023 graduate of UNC Charlotte, 24-year-old William Speight (Davidson, NC) is a two-time medalist at the President’s Cup, winning bronze last year after a move down from 66 kg to 73 kg.

Seventeen-year-old Rose-Marie LeCorre (Richmond, TX) earned a bronze medal finish at the Dallas Open in the Senior 78 kg category and took gold in the IJF-Junior event.

Athletes interested in learning more about the National Resident Training Team can contact Eriksson at