ECTC Athletes Compete at Third Season Tournament at Brown
by Siddharth Pandey
ECTC Tournament Committee Member
December 1 (Fairfax, VA) – On Sunday, November 22, the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) held the third tournament of its competition season and the last tournament of 2015 at Brown University in Providence, RI. This edition of the Brown University tournament was yet another in a series of well attended and successfully run ECTC tournaments, boasting 371 student athletes from 23 Universities.
In Division 1, Cornell University continues their successful streak at first place with 370 of the 906 total points awarded to Division 1 schools, followed closely in second place by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with 356, and in third, Tufts University with 180 points. Division 2’s final scores resulted with Columbia University in first place with 293 points, in close second was the United States military Academy at West Point with 252 points, and in third place, Rutgers University with 86 points. First place in Division 3 was earned by Duke University with 64 points, in close second was Harvard University with 41 and with 38 points we have Villanova in third place. The large array of colleges and universities represented in the ECTC at these tournaments always promises for exciting competition!
As a 501(c) 3 non-profit collegiate taekwondo league, the ECTC hosts five tournaments a year and selects an All-Star team of outstanding league athletes nominated by their peers to travel to various schools to train and/or compete once a year. The five tournaments of the 2015-2016 season are held at MIT (October 18), Cornell University (November 8), Brown University (November 22), Princeton University (TBD) and the University of Vermont (TBD). Each year, the ECTC schools consistently produce 300-500 competitors at every tournament. Competitors earn points for their schools by medaling in poomsae and sparring, with higher belt divisions (skill level) allotted more points. While all schools compete against each other during the course of each tournament, league standings are separated into Division I, II, and III. Schools are separated into each division based on a two-year history of performance in the league.
The ECTC utilizes a team sparring format, in which 3-person teams (consisting of a light, middle and heavyweight division and up to two alternates) compete in a single elimination format against other schools, with the team that wins 2 or more matches advancing in the bracket. This team sparring format encourages schools to develop depth of talent and fosters team spirit and spirited rivalries between schools. ECTC Board Member and Brown University’s Head Coach, Master Park states how he is always impressed by the camaraderie displayed in the league, “By the end of the day, all the athletes are gathered around one of the rings cheering for teams against whom they fought only a few matches ago. It is this mutual respect and appreciation for quality Taekwondo that truly makes our league unique.” The league also enforces World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) standards across all poomsae divisions and utilizes electronic poomsae scoring for black and red belt divisions.
As usual, the tournament started off with the poomsae competition. In the black belt poomsae category, David Cui (Cornell) was awarded first place in the men’s group and Evangeline Tsai (Boston University) was awarded first in the women’s group. The gold medalists in the red belt division were Jaydev Dave (Tufts) for the men and Hyunji Kim (Cornell) for the women. The blue belt winners in the women’s and men’s division were Seong Joo (UConn) and Aibar Nurmukhanov (Cornell) respectively. The women’s green belt winner was Felicia How (Columbia) and the men’s winner was John Henares (UConn). The respective winners of the women’s and men’s white/yellow division were Gina Yuan (MIT) and Thomas Lively (Harvard).
In sparring, 91 teams competed across 6 divisions. In the men’s A-team (advanced level) sparring finals, West Point’s A1 team (Matthew Galea, Jordan Nettles and Rahul Sawhney), was awarded the gold with a win over Cornell’s A1 team (Jared Gurba, Kyosan Ku, and Jeremy Fredericks). The women’s A-team gold was awarded to Columbia’s A1 (Claire Seo, Sandra Ximena Mata Zenteno, Laura Malkiewich) with a win over MIT’s A1 team (Tam Nguyen, Olga Shestopalova, Andy Guatemala). In the B-team (intermediate level) sparring finals, Tuft’s men’s B1 team (Jaydev Dave, Sanggyu Suh, Jared Gall) beat out Cornell’s B1 team (Daniel Andre Veronese, Aibar Nurmukhanov, Michael Disare) for first place. In the Women’s B-team finals, MIT’s B1 team (Nina Anwar, Jean Chow, Samantha Amey-Gonzalez) defeated Cornell’s B2 team (Chase Upshaw, Tiffany Zheng, Nadege Aoki) for first place. In the Women’s C-team (beginner level), in a rare occurrence, both Columbia University’s C1 and C2 teams ended up in the finals, with the C2 team (Primi Akhtar, Jackie Ridgley, Daniela Quaresma) taking second place to the C1 team (Vivian Huan, Caitlin Wang and Kristen Song). The men’s C-team finals came down to West Point’s C1 team (Tak Cho, Will Xu, Ellis Valdez) taking the gold over MIT’s C1 team (Bhanti Gheneti, Johan Kotze).
The first three tournaments of the season have been extremely successfully and have shown the depth of taekwondo expertise from the large amount of schools within the ECTC. The fourth tournament of the season will be held at Princeton University in 2016, the date has yet to be determined.
About the ECTC
The Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC), formerly known as the Ivy Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League, is a 501(c)3 non-profit collegiate league, active since 1983, that seeks to foster the development of student-athletes in Taekwondo. The ECTC offers a fun, intense, and unique team-oriented competition experience featuring Olympic-style sparring and forms competition at all levels by hosting five tournaments each academic school year at schools around the Eastern United States. Clubs from among 30 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada vie each academic year for the League Cup by accumulating points at each of the league tournaments.
Mid Season Standings
David Cui (Cornell)
- photo credit to Rae Drach
Blue Hogu: Andy Guatemala (MIT)
-photo credit to Rae Drach