ECTC Hosts First Tournament of the Season at MIT
By Tiffany Chen
ECTC Tournament Committee Member
November 10, 2015 (Cambridge, MA) – The Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC, http://ectc-online.org) held its first tournament of the season at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Sunday, October 18, 2015. The tournament was one of the largest in recent conference history, with 425 collegiate competitors from 23 different schools participating in the categories of forms (poomsae) and sparring (kyorugi). Final results in Division I had reigning ECTC champion Cornell University, placing first with 405 points. Tufts, in their first year as a Division I school, grabbed second with 258 points, and MIT came in third with 246 points. Division II had a nice competitive showing with Rutgers coming in first with 211 points, West Point in second place with 199 points, and Princeton rounding out third place with 115 points. Division III was led by Harvard with 98 points, followed by University of Pennsylvania (U. Penn.) with 47 points and the University of Vermont with 16 points.
The ECTC is a 501(c)3 non-profit collegiate taekwondo league that holds 5 tournaments per year in addition to fielding an All-Star Team that travels to compete or train once per year. This year's tournaments will be held at MIT, Cornell University, Brown University, Princeton University and the University of Vermont. Tournaments have historically been attended by 300-500 competitors from among over 30 colleges and universities. Schools earn points by earning medals in forms and sparring, with higher belt (skill level) divisions being allotted more points. Schools are grouped into Divisions I, II and III based on a 2-year history of performance in the league to determine standings; however, all schools compete against each other within each tournament's sparring and forms divisions.
One of the hallmarks of the league is its 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. The team sparring format encourages schools to develop depth of talent and fosters team spirit and spirited rivalries between schools. Also, the league has been an early adopter of modern poomsae standards by enforcing World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) standards across all poomsae divisions and utilizing electronic poomsae scoring for black and red belt divisions.
The MIT tournament began with poomsae (forms) competition, which was especially talent-packed this year. The winners for the black belt division were Elaine Lee (U. Penn.) and Hakseong Kim (Rutgers U.) in the women's division (46 competitors) and men's division (36 competitors), respectively. The red belt winners were Yang Dai (MIT) and Jaydev Dave (Tufts U.), the blue belt winners were Kayi Okine (Harvard) and Ahmed Hassan (Princeton), the green belt winners were Nina Anwar (MIT) and Frank Fang (Columbia), and the white/yellow divisions were won by Hannah Asarelah Yang (Cornell) and Thomas Lively (Harvard).
Sparring competition immediately followed the poomsae competition with 158 sparring teams entered across 6 divisions. Men’s A-team (black belt) sparring featured 34 teams. The finals featured Cornell A1 (Jared Gurba, Kyosan Ku, Jeremy Fredericks, and alternate Peter Deng) besting West Point A1 (Matthew Galea, Ziwei Peng, and Rahul Sawhney). In the Women's A-team sparring finals, Rutgers A1 (Meghna Jain, Natalie Peck, and Julia Kong) won over Princeton A1 (Avery Forrow and Jean Smith) after emerging from a field of 25 teams.
In the B-team (intermediate, blue-red belt) sparring division, 22 men's teams and 17 women's teams competed. Tufts B1 (Jaydev Dave, Sanggyu Suh, Jared Gall, and alternate Bryant Gill) bested Penn State B1 (Ali Alshehri, Jason Everett, Nick DeCarlo, and alternate Alex Smith) in the men's final, and Tufts B1 (Yennie Jun, Adeline Gall, and Kira Tomlinson) met Cornell B2 (Chase Upshaw, Tiffany Zheng, and Lydia Lam) in the women's final which was not contested due to time constraints.
In the C-team (beginner, white/yellow/green belt) division, 29 men's teams and 24 women's teams competed. West Point C1 (William Xu, Ellis Valdez, and John Mueller) bested Cornell C1 (Noah Firmin, Aibar Nurmukhanov, and Curtis Sumner) in the men's final, and MIT C1 (Nina Anwar, Ashley Wang, Samantha Amey-Gonzales, and alternate Hye young Shin) beat out Tufts C1 (Anna Kasagawa, Jialu Wei, Caroline Scheck and alternate Ruth Meadow-Macleod) for the win in the women's division.
"This season is off to a great start with many new schools vying for points and several great rivalries emerging. It's great to see competitors giving 100% effort and poomsae and matches being cheered by teams with great intensity, whether it is a national team level competitor or a novice yellow belt," said ECTC Board of Directors member Dan Chuang.
The second tournament of the season will be held at Cornell University on Sunday, November 8, followed by the third tournament on Sunday, November 22 at Brown University.
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.
Cornell A1 lightweight fighter Jared Gurba'18 sparring against Harvard A1 lightweight
at the MIT Tournament held in Boston, MA on October 18, 2015. (Photo credit: Margaret Decker)