ECTC Hosts Season Opener with Record-Setting Numbers at MIT
By Julia Richieri
Tournament Committee Member
November 8, 2017
Cambridge, MA - On Saturday, October 21, the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) came together at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the first tournament of the 2017-2018 competition season. This tournament, with a record-setting 486 competitors from 31 schools, was the largest in MIT’s history.
This tournament’s competition in poomsae was larger than ever before with 97 competitors in the black belt division and 123 competitors in the white/yellow belt division. In the men’s black belt division, Andrew Hurd (Northeastern) took gold, making this his fourth gold over the past six ECTC tournaments, while Tarrin Goldberg (Penn State), Jonathan Price (Stony Brook), and Shemual Tsai (Northeastern) earning second, third, and fourth, respectively. In the women’s black belt competition, Evangeline Tsai (Boston University) won gold, followed by Liana Gonsalves (Cornell), Memie Osuga (Harvard), and Siqi Feng (Columbia).
In color belt poomsae, six different schools were represented among the gold medal winners. In men’s white/yellow belt, Deil Cho of the United States Military Academy (West Point) earned gold, while Northeastern’s Claire Yu won the women’s division. In the men’s green belt division, Matthew Turner from University of Vermont took gold, and Iris Hwang represented MIT in the women’s division. For the blue belts, Caleb Oh from Cornell earned gold for his team and Katherine Chen from Rutgers held the spot for the women. In the red belt division, it was a true Division I showdown, with Cornell’s Samuel Cantillo taking the prize for the men, and MIT’s Nina Anwar earning the gold.
As poomsae was wrapping up, sparring was just getting underway. For many schools, this tournament was the first time their new students had a chance to compete. The beginner C-Team divisions (white, yellow, and green belts) were quite large with a total of 75 teams, but all matches finished before the end of the day, with as many as four matches for the top team. In the men’s division, West Point C1 took gold, followed by Northeastern, Penn State, and West Point C2. For the women, MIT came out on top, beating Northeastern, while Rutgers and West Point rounded out the division.
In the intermediate B-Team (green, blue, and red belt) division, returning students had a chance to get back on the mats and dust off their skills. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to run the final matches, so men’s first place was split between Columbia B1 and Buffalo B1, and Cornell B2 and Villanova B1 split third. The same was true in the women’s division, with MIT B1 and B2 sharing the gold, and Cornell B1 and B2 sharing the bronze.
In the advanced A-Team (red and black belts) sparring division, there were phenomenal performances all around. In an excellent matchup, Cornell A1 took home the gold, beating West Point A1 in a great final matchup. MIT A1 and West Point A3 took bronze to round out a great showing. In the women’s division, West Point A2 beat out Cornell A1, and University of Michigan A1 and Columbia A1 took bronze.
In the division standings, University at Buffalo placed first in Division III with 88 points, followed by Villanova University with 24 points and the University of Vermont with 21 points. In Division II, Columbia University came out on top with 174 points, Northeastern University hot on their heels with 133 points, and Rutgers University third with 75 points. In Division I, Cornell University took first with 393 points, West Point second with 346 points, and MIT a close third with 331 points.
Coming off a great year last season, the tournament committee (TC) worked hard over the summer to implement new technology and bring the latest World Taekwondo rules to the competition season. They were also able to run all intermediate B-Team sparring matches with Daedo, meaning 5 out of the 6 rings were set up with electronic scoring. The TC also had a few new people working for the first time. Maddie Lesko, former captain of the University of Connecticut’s taekwondo team, stepped up to volunteer. “Having gotten the chance to compete in this league during my undergraduate studies, I feel that it is important to give back in order for other students to have the same amazing experience that I did,” she said.” “It is very rewarding to see the league continue to flourish and nice to see that I can still have a place in it, even after I graduated from UConn."
Thank you to all for coming out, and we will see you at Cornell University on Sunday, November 5!