SPRING LAKE, N.J. — Neely Tompkins, 15, of the Freehold Ward, East Brunswick New Jersey Stake, won two gold medals at the AAU National Karate Championships the last week of June in New Orleans, La. She took top honors in her age group in kumite (free fighting) and kata (forms). Her sister, 8-year-old Brinley, won bronze medals in her age group for the same events.
The girls attribute their success partly to the support, fasting and prayers of family and ward members as they struggle to overcome physical disabilities. Brinley was born with a digestive disorder, and Neely struggles with arthritis and fibromyalgia.