Kierra MacKenzie (right) scores a hit against Kelara Madani in a Suzuki Cup match in Addison, Texas, in December 2019. MacKenzie competed in the tournament again in December 2020 and won a gold medal. (contributed photo -- Sonny Lopez)

A look back: When sports returned in Solano County

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Vacaville Christian High graduate Kiera MacKenzie is the best karate fighter in the heavyweight women’s division in the state of California and third best in the United States.

But MacKenzie, who usually participates in about 20 karate tournaments a year, hadn’t had a fight since March 8, 2020. California COVID regulations precluded any contact sports.

But Texas was allowing karate competition. So when MacKenzie and Jim Ernest, her coach at Ramtown Karate in Dixon, got wind of a tournament in early December in Dallas, they jumped at the chance.

MacKenzie came back from the competition, the Suzuki Cup, with a gold medal in her fighting division and a bronze in kata (a non-contact detailed choreographed pattern of martial arts movements).

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