ECTC Athletes Successfully Compete at Collegiate Nationals
By Tara Sarathi
NCTA Tournament Committee Chair
ECTC Tournament Committee Co-Chair
April 23, 2018 (Cambridge, MA) - The National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) held the 43rd National Collegiate Taekwondo Championship and 5th National High School Championship at American University on April 7 and 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. This year, the tournament host was former ECTC Tournament Committee Chair Master Richard-Duane Chambers of American University, and the NCTA Tournament Committee Chair was current ECTC Tournament Committee Co-Chair Tara Sarathi. The championship was the largest in the history of the NCTA, with over 600 athletes registered.
Unlike ECTC tournaments, the National Collegiate Taekwondo Championships takes place over two days, and each athlete competes individually as opposed to in a team. In addition, more divisions are available for athletes to compete in such as Mixed Pairs Poomsae and Team Poomsae for Black Belt Poomsae competitors from the same school. Each belt rank has its own poomsae and sparring divisions (with the exception of white/yellow belt). Furthermore, more weight classes are available for athletes to compete in, with four weight classes for the color belt divisions and eight weight classes for the black belt competitors. 21 ECTC schools were present at the event, and several ECTC athletes medaled in very competitive divisions.
At the end of the weekend, team trophies are awarded to schools who have won the most points in the Color Belt (Novice) Division, Black Belt (Championship) Division, and Overall. Three points are awarded for each gold medal won, two points for each silver medal won, and one point for each bronze medal won. ECTC schools were well represented in the final standings. In the Overall Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, was awarded second place. In the Novice Division, Brown University was awarded second place, and in the Championship Division, MIT was awarded third place.
The first day of competition on April 7 featured the Black Belt Collegiate Poomsae Divisions, and the Color Belt Poomsae and Sparring Divisions. In the Men’s Individual Black Belt Poomsae Division, Andrew Hurd (Northeastern) took third in a talent-packed, 35 person division. In addition, Hurd also placed second in the Men’s Individual Team Trial Division, which included performing a freestyle routine in the final round. In the Men’s Collegiate Team Poomsae Division, Frank Fang, Samuel Kim Lee, and Tahin Syed (MIT) took third place, while in the Women’s Collegiate Team Poomsae Division, Nina Anwar, Rachel Connick, and Renee Zhao (MIT) earned second out of a deep field of 11 teams, the largest in NCTA Championships history.
In the Color Belt Poomsae Divisions, Samuel Majors (MIT), Caleb Oh (Cornell), and Brahim Aswald (New York University, or NYU) placed second, third, and fourth respectively in the Men’s Red Belt Division, and Gina Yuan (MIT) and Emily Zhu (MIT) placed first and fourth respectively in the Women’s Red Belt Division. In the Blue Belt Division, Josh Roy (Brown) and Peter Tran (MIT) took second and third respectively on the men’s side, while Iris Hwang (MIT), Amy Miao (Brown), Nicole Brossi (Northeastern) and Zoie Chang (U. Michigan) swept the women’s division with a first through fourth place respectively. For the Green Belt Divisions, ECTC athletes brought home all of the medals, with Juanda Tan (Brown), Matthew Turner (University of Vermont, or UVM), John Cervone (Columbia) and Benjamin Intarapuvasak (NYU) taking first through fourth place on the men’s side, and Hali Kim (U. Penn), Emily Le (Brown), Jacynth Tate Agraan (MIT) and Hanzhang Zhao (Brown) taking first through fourth on the women’s side. Finally, in the White and Yellow Belt Divisions, Batchema Sombie (U. Penn) and Cuong Nguyen (Columbia) took first and second place respectively on the men’s side, while the ECTC swept the medals in the women’s side with Ariel Yu (American), Jacquelin Ho (Brown), Boniat Ephrem (Brown), and Rebecca Hao (Harvard) placing first through fourth.
Several ECTC athletes also placed in the Color Belt Sparring Divisions. In the Men’s White/Yellow Belt Divisions, Patrick Flierman (U. Michigan), David Suarez (Brown), George Spahn (Brown) and Mitch Choi (Tufts) swept the Fin/Fly weight division with first through third place. In the Bantam/Feather Division, Howard Huang (Duke) , George Ngoh (U.S. Military Academy, or West Point), and Bascome Hollingsworth (West Point) took first through third place. In the Light/Welter Division, Richard Sung (West Point) took first, while Christopher Dao (West Point) took third. Finally, in the Middle/Heavy Division, ECTC once again swept the division with West Point athletes Madison Curry, Garrett Beck, and Antonia Viera taking first through third, and Batuhan Akcay (U. Michigan) taking the other third place. In the Women’s White/Yellow Belt Division, Julia Walton (Princeton) took first place in the Fin/Fly weight division. In the Bantam/Feather Division, Sandra Moore (Brown), Stephanie Diaz (Brown) and Shu Xin Xu Bao (NYU) took second through third place. In the Light/Welter division, Rebecca Hao (Harvard) and Magdalena Price (MIT) took first and second place. Lastly, in the Middle/Heavy division, Ara Gahan (West Point) and Sarah Tierce (NYU) placed third.
In the Men’s Green Belt Division, Abhinav Tamaskar (NYU) placed third in the Fin/Fly weight division, Matthew Turner (UVM), Matthew Sima (Duke), and Daniel Levitin (Tufts) placed third in the Bantam/Feather Division, Travis Phelan (West Point), Muhammed Balin (Columbia) and Neel Sharma (Penn State) took first and third respectively in the Light/Welter division, and Dare Abiodun (U. Buffalo), Max Barbieri (American), Robert Bronstein (Northeastern) and Eunki Seonwoo (American) took first through third in the Middle/Heavy division. In the Women’s Green Belt Division, Melissa Chen (Northeastern), Carol Xia (Duke), Amanda Cheng (Princeton) and Sophia Chan (Columbia) swept the Fin/Fly weight division, Jia Chen Shi (Duke) placed second in the Bantam/Feather division, Sarah Porter (Liberty) and Nouf Almutairi (Northeastern) took second and third in the Light/Welter division, and Jennifer Dzul (Brown) and Rebecca Cook (Liberty) took third in the Middle/Heavy division.
In the Men’s Blue Belt Division, Calvin Yang (U. Buffalo) and Jonathan Ahn (NYU) took first and second in the Bantam/Feather division, Uzoma Ezeonyeka (West Point) took third in the Light/Welter division, and Jonathan Panzera (Liberty) took second in the Middle/Heavy division. In the Women’s Blue Belt division, Iris Hwang (MIT) and Helen Situ (Brown) took first and second in the Fin/Fly division, Melat Anteneh (MIT) and Alexandra Lopez (U. Penn) took first and third in the Bantam/Feather division, and Joanna Woolsey (Liberty) took first in the Middle/Heavy division.
In the Men’s Red Belt Division, Alejandro Romero (Brown) took third in the Bantam/Feather division, and Brahim Aswald (NYU) and Jose R. Dos Remedios (U. Penn) took third in the Light/Welter division. In the Women’s Red Belt Division, Marissa Polack (Cornell) took first in the Fin/Fly division, Jaena Han (Columbia) took second in the Bantam/Feather division, Kristine Lai (Cornell), Caroline Schek (Tufts) and Katrina Czar (UVM) took first and third respectively in the Light/Welter division, and Tykeyah Henderson (Liberty) and Grace Turner (Princeton) took second and third in the Middle/Heavy division.
The second day of competition featured the Collegiate Black Belt Sparring Divisions. As with the color belt divisions, several ECTC competitors medaled in their extremely competitive sparring divisions. For the Men’s Black Belt Sparring Divisions, Isaac Lee (Cornell) and Patrick Hall (U. Bridgeport) took third place in the Bantamweight division, and Ajay Saini (MIT) took third in the Lightweight division. For the Women’s Black Belt Sparring Divisions, Nina Anwar (MIT) and Jean Chow (Columbia) both took third place in the Fin weight division, Felicia Zhu (Princeton) and Katherine Velguth (U. Michigan) took third place in the Flyweight division, Erika Wolf (Penn State) took second in the Bantamweight division, Rachel Connick (MIT) took third in the Featherweight division, Rose Popma (U. Michigan) took third in the Lightweight division, Ashley Rivera (West Point) took third in the Welterweight division, Catherine Zhao (Columbia), Rene Silva (MIT), and Jamie Lam (Buffalo) took second and third place respectively in the Middleweight division, and Amanda West (Michigan), Alanna Todd (NYU), Megan Carswell (Liberty) and Tyler Creese (Liberty) swept the Heavyweight division with first through third place respectively.
Congratulations again to all of the ECTC athletes who competed at the 43rd National Collegiate Taekwondo Championship! We look forward to seeing ECTC athletes compete again at next year’s Collegiates!