Having watched his daughter compete in three taekwondo tournaments over six days in July, Dennis Luster was rightfully proud.
His pride was renewed when Maddie received recognition from the Killeen Independent School District board Tuesday evening.
Maddie Luster, a Harker Heights High School sophomore, won a gold medal at the USA High School Team National Championship in Detroit this July.
But that wasn’t her first competition that week.
She started by participating in a development camp at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to her dad.
“We thought it would help her, but she hurt her leg on the last day,” Dennis said.
From there, the father and daughter flew to Detroit for the USA Taekwondo National Championships. Maddie placed 14th in that event.
The next stop was Florida for the AAU Taekwondo National Championships. Maddie placed eighth.
The USA High School Team National Championship was the last stop on this whirlwind tour. Maddie joined five other competitors representing Texas as a team.
“It was a lot to take in,” Maddie said. “A whole bunch of people are depending on you.”
Competing in sparring, she was fighting under the Harker Heights High School name.
She did her school proud.
Maddie is a black belt who has been studying taekwondo for seven years. She won a national competition in 2014, at age 12.
She currently travels to Temple some weekends, where she is mentored by Master David Shadden of Central Texas Taekwondo. She also trains in Dallas or Houston on other weekends.