Cornell Sees Tightest Competition in Recent History
by Carissa Fu
ECTC Tournament Committee Co-Chair
Ithaca, NY - With 432 competitors from 27 schools, Cornell set a record for hosting the largest collegiate taekwondo competition in the school’s history.
Out of the 10 gold medals in the poomsae divisions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came away with three divisions golds while Northeastern and Boston University (BU) each earned two. Andrew Hurd (Northeastern) and Evangeline Tsai (BU) repeated their gold medal performance performing Koryo in the semi-finals and Keumgang in the finals. Samuel Majors and Nina Anwar, both from MIT, swept the red belt division. This is also Anwar’s second gold in poomsae this season. Justin Reynolds (Cortland) and Katherine Chen (Rutgers) topped the blue belt division while Justin Lim (MIT) and Nicole Brossi (Northeastern) captured gold in the green belt division. Chen also repeated her gold medal win from two weeks ago. Finally, Jared Ho (New York University) and Peiluo Xu (BU) each respectively battled through 50+ competitor divisions for the gold.
Home team Cornell had an exceptionally strong showing in sparring earning three of the six division gold medals in Men’s A1-Team (Jared Gurba, Jeremy Fredericks, Joseph Nechleba), Men’s B1-Team (Harrison Fay, Samuel Cantillo, Curtis Sumner), and Women’s B1-Team sparring (Marissa Polack, Wensi Wu, Kristine Lai). In a close second was MIT earning two golds with Women’s A1-Team (Nina Anwar, Rachel Connick, and Sam Amey-Gonzalez) and Women’s C1-Team (Iris Hwang, Magdalena Price, Melat Antenah). Lehigh University, in their first tournament of the season, claimed gold in Men’s C1-Team (Anuroop Alberts, Joe Kawash, Ian Bender). Many universities showcased strong performances with 11 universities medaling.
In the novice sparring divisions (C-Teams), MIT’s Women’s C1 Team defended their gold medal performance from their own home tournament a couple weeks ago to earn another gold at Cornell. In a close second was BU C1 (Sharon Zhong, Mina Zanna, Ciara Allen, Gabriella Card) followed by bronze medalists Northeastern C2 (Nicole Brossi, Vivian Xing, Nouf Alutairi) and University of Michigan C1 (Jaime Toh, Brittany Colcord, Madalasa Chaudhuri). In the men’s division which contested 44 teams, Lehigh C1 had an outstanding performance beating West Point C2 (Andy Vu, Richard Sung, Travis Phelan) to earn gold. Northeastern C1 (Patrick Huang, Arlen Gaba, Nghia Huynh) and MIT C1 (Nicholas Alvorado, Justin Lim, Peter Tran) fought through the scores of teams to capture bronze.
In the intermediate sparring divisions (B-Teams), highlights include two of Cornell’s Men’s B-Teams meeting each other in the finals with Cornell B1 (Harrison Fay, Samuel Cantillo, Curtis Sumner) taking the gold. Men’s Buffalo B1 (Calvin Yang, Alouseni Diaoune, Dare Abiodiun) had another solid showing, earning bronze this tournament and a 2-man team from University of Albany (Jeremy Tu and Wilson Li) clinched the second bronze. Another MIT-Cornell showdown in the women’s B-Team division during the finals left Cornell B1 on top and MIT B1 (Gina Yuan, Emily Zhu, Jaz Harris) in a close second. Rounding out the top 4 include Columbia B1 (Ranran Guo, Jaena Han, Runjia Li) and Brown B1 (Helen Situ, Laura Blackstone, Isabel Andrews).
Finally, the advanced sparring divisions (A-Teams) saw 50 teams in both the men’s and women’s division. For the men’s side, Cornell A1 and West Point A1 (Matt Galea, Jordan Nettles, Christopher Bang) had a repeat performance from the MIT Tournament, earning gold and silver, respectively. MIT A1 (Joshua Padilla and Udit Rathore) and Penn State A1 (Nawaf Abdullah, Tarrin Goldberg, Reid Boekenheide, Darren Shin) captured bronze. On the women’s side, University of Albany A1 (Suthasinee Saengchuto, Mei Kimura, Rae Drach) team just fell short to MIT A1 to take silver. West Point A2 (Natasha Chick, Sophia Andel, Ashley Rivera) and Columbia A1 (Louise Zhou, Felicia How, Catherine Zhao) had a strong showing to earn bronze.
Overall division standings saw Cornell University on top of Division I with 539 points. MIT was in a close second with 401 points, and rounding out the top three was West point with 144 points. Division II saw the tightest scores in recent history with Northeastern edging out the pool with 97 points, followed by NYU with 94 points, and in a close third, the University at Albany with 93 points. Finally, in Division III, Lehigh takes top honors with 64 points, with Buffalo on their heels with 56 points, and UVM rounding out third with 25 points.
When asked what it felt like to host the largest Cornell tournament in their 30-year history. Cornell Taekwondo Team President Alex Devarajan said, “As one of the founding schools of the league...to think that at this point in time, we'd see the largest event in our school's history occur is both incredible and humbling. Taekwondo as a sport is growing. With a league like the ECTC where this infrastructure is well-established, it is great to see so many new schools and competitors join and actively participate.”
Brown University will host the third and final ECTC tournament of the fall season on Sunday, November 19.