Area youth boxers take in experience at National Silver Gloves tournament
Lilly Gulbrandson and Jayden Thompson represented the Nordic Warriors Boxing Academy well at the 2023 National Silver Gloves Tournament. Gulbrandson became the first ever national champion from the NWBA.
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI - Lilly Gulbrandson, 14, of Parkers Prairie, and Jayden Thompson, 13, of Sauk Centre, represented the Nordic Warriors Boxing Academy (based in Alexandria) and shined on a big stage at the 2023 National Silver Gloves Tournament in Independence, Missouri, from Wednesday, Feb. 8 through Saturday, Feb. 15.
Gulbrandson made history for the academy by becoming the first-ever national champion it has produced so far.
She did so by defeating Christy Barraso by unanimous decision in their championship bout in the 13-14-year-old 154-pound weight class.
Gulbrandson is a youth ambassador for the academy, which head coach Corey Thompson, the father of Jayden Thompson, runs.
Gulbrandson made the tournament by being a walkover from region 4 (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota).
Barraso, representing region 6 (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama), came out swinging early, but Gulbrandson, who has been given the nickname "The Shield Maiden" (a female Viking), responded very well with well-placed right hooks to the head. Barraso gave Gulbrandson a good push in round three, but Gulbrandson did what she needed to in order to win the Silver Gloves National Championship belt in her division.
Back in December in St. Cloud, Jayden Thompson won the 11-12-year-old, 95-pound state title and aimed to build off of that strong fight.
Jayden Thompson, a walkover from region 4, fought in the 11-12 95-pound weight class, faced off against Henry Medina from region 3 (West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida).
Medina controlled the first round, but Thompson fought back in the second and third rounds to make things interesting. Medina ended up winning the match by decision.
Jayden is hungry to get back in the ring on a stage like this and is aiming on doing so.
Gulbrandson and Jayden Thompson are planning on traveling to Ohio in April for an-all belt event and have goals of making it back Junior Olympic Tournament this summer in Lubbock, Texas.
Gulbrandson was a silver medalist in the 2022 Junior Olympic Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.
While Gulbrandson is the first national champion that the Nordic Warriors Boxing Academy has had, they are aiming and are optimistic about there being more to come later on.