As Jeremiah Quenano enters his sophomore year at North Point High School, he is able to reflect back on another successful summer competing in taekwondo competitions on the national stage.
“My expectation this summer was to at least medal and to make it to team trials,” Quenano said. “I worked out probably five times a week with and without my coach training me.”
Master Thomas Jenkins is Quenano’s coach at Peak Performance USA, which is one of the largest teams in the United States for the sport of taekwondo.
Peak Performance USA is owned by Juan Miguel Moreno, former three-time USA Olympic Team athlete (1988, 1992, 2000) and the Olympic Team coach for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
In the summer of 2018, Quenano competed at two international taekwondo events representing the United States. He secured a gold medal at the Costa Rica Open and a silver medal at the President’s Cup.
Entering this summer, Quenano was hopeful to earn medals once again at the national stage.
“Medaling in back-to-back tournaments and years takes a certain type of athlete,” Jenkins said. “Just competing in back-to-back events is hard because you have to weigh in twice and normally the second weigh-in is on the day you are fighting at your first event. Most taekwondo athletes are built to be able to accomplish this, but it does take a determined mind set and a love for the sport.”
Quenano competed in the 2019 Pan Am Cadet & Jr. Championships on June 13 in Portland, Oregon. He didn’t earn a medal there, but was able to bounce back and won a bronze medal the next day competing at the 2019 Pan Am Open on June 14 in Portland, Oregon.
“Jeremiah’s preparation concentrated on the 2019 Pan Am Cadet & Jr. Championships and the 2019 Pan Am Open as these were his first two events that took place in June. We saw Pan Am Cadet & Jr. Championships as the most important event for the summer,” Jenkins said. “Although we did not achieve the goal we wanted, Jeremiah was able to bounce back the next day and secured a bronze medal at the Pan Am Open. Medaling at the Pan Am Open directly after not reaching his goals and objectives at the Pan Am Championships was a good accomplishment. Jeremiah had to refocus and reset his goals directly after losing at Pan Am Cadet & Jr. Championships in doing so he was able to secure a top three finish at the Pan Am Open.”
Quenano competed at the AAU Taekwondo Nationals on July 4 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and secured a silver medal marking his best performance at a competition this summer.
“I felt so joyful receiving the medal that I’d gotten. I was thankful that I made it to where I am now and delighted to see the opportunity that I took was worth it,” Quenano said. “My first match went really well, however, I lost in the finals to another member of Peak Performance and he was a good friend of mine. I lost because I was playing too safe. I knew what he was going to do, I knew how he was going to fight, but I just didn’t fight the way I was supposed to fight from my last two matches.”
Some of Quenano’s current goals include placing at the President’s Cup in Las Vegas in November, graduating high school in three years and trying to qualify for the Olympics.
“Jeremiah’s success comes from not being afraid to lose or fail. Things do not always go his way, but he focuses on the things he can control and sets small and large goals,” Jenkins said. “It’s not about winning, it’s about his performance and how to get better so he can perform better. In addition, he is a part of a taekwondo family at Peak Performance and Black Belt Academy where we use the concept of it takes a village to raise an athlete. We have amazing coaches and outstanding athletes who work and inspire to be better.”