Lynnwood boy is a Pokemon prodigy

Until Cade Rowan won, he didn’t know what he was playing for.

Maybe that’s why the 7-year-old from Lynnwood was so relaxed last month as he beat seven straight opponents, finally placing first in a Seattle qualifying event for the Pokemon Video Game National Championship.

After Cade won, event organizers told him his prize. It still makes Cade scream with happiness.

“A free trip!” he says, his bright blue eyes beaming.

The trip is taking Cade and his father Robert Rowan to St. Louis for the junior division national championship event this weekend. There, Cade will compete against 127 other kids under age 12 for the title.

He’ll have some Snohomish County competition. David Hernandez, 7, of Marysville and Michael Xi, 12, of Mill Creek also finished in the top four at the Seattle event. The top four finishers qualified for St. Louis.

The winner in St. Louis wins a spot in the world championships later this year in San Diego.

Pokemon is a role-playing game that pits teams of cuddly monsters against each other, while players take turns dictating moves for their squads. At the national championships, competitors will play each other on hand-held Nintendo DS units.

The Rowans arrived in St. Louis on Thursday.

Cade is looking forward to facing the kids during the competition, he said. For now, he mostly practices against his father and against his Nintendo Wii.

He could easily find local games, though, after locals players proved themselves at the Seattle qualifying event.

There, many of the competitors towered over Cade. Some of Cade’s competitors were taller than him even when they knelt down.

Nevermind. He sliced through them all.

It was fun to watch, his father said.

“It was such a neat moment — he was at his best.”

Chris Fyall: 425-339-3447,

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