Cornell University Wins the ECTC League Cup: ECTC Hosts Last Tournament of the Season at the University of Vermont
Saturday, April 22 2017 (Burlington, VT)- The Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) held its last tournament of the season at the University of Vermont (UVM) on Saturday, April 22nd 2017. The tournament was the largest attended tournament held at the school, with 298 athletes representing 19 schools. Before the day began, all of the athletes for whom this was their last ECTC tournament were asked to stand up before the league. It was a bittersweet moment as each team fully recognized that this was the last tournament that they would be competing alongside this set of extraordinary people.
After the opening ceremonies concluded, the competition day started off with Poomsae. In each division, gold medals were Nghia Huynh (Northeastern) and Sophia Chan (NYU) in the Male and Female White/Yellow Belt Division, respectively, Juanda Tan (Brown) and Katherine Chen (Rutgers) in the Green Belt Division, Justin Reynolds (Cortland) and Amy Miao (Brown) in the Blue Belt Division, Sanggyu Suh (Tufts) and Nina Anwar (MIT) in the Red Belt Division, and Jonathan Price (Stony Brook) and Evangeline Tsai (Boston University) in the Black Belt Division.
After Poomsae Competition ended, the final Sparring Competition of the season began for the day. Cornell was the shining team of the day, as their team fought hard to take gold in four out of the six sparring divisions. In the C-team Men’s division, Buffalo’s C2 (Jacky Tang, Sean McLoughlin), a two person team, went undefeated to take first place. In the Women’s C team division, Cornell C1 (Thanh Thanh Nguyen, Kyra Houle, Kristine Lai) fought hard all the way to the gold medal. In the B-team division, Cornell took double gold by winning both the Men’s (B1:Harrison Fay, Samuel Cantillo, Curtis Sumner) and Women’s (B1:Marissa Polack, Ilana Kotliar, Sarah Novello) Divisions. Finally, in the advanced A-team division, West Point A1 fought hard to take the gold in the Men’s Division (Matt Galea, Jordan Nettles, Ziwei Peng), while Cornell A1 took gold in the Women’s Division (Pooja Reddy, Marine-Ayan Ibrahim Aibo, Hyunji Kim).
After an exciting day of competition, energetic ringside cheering, and passionate competitiveness, Cornell took first place in Division I with 588 points. Boston University took first in Division II with 175 points, and Buffalo University took first place in Division III with 96 points.
For the season end division standings, Cornell took first place in Division I and won the ECTC League Cup with 2655 points. Incredibly, this was the fifth season in a row that Cornell won the League Cup. MIT finished second in the same division with 1332 points, and West Point took third with 904 points. In Division II, Rutgers won a tight race for first place with 502 points, followed by Boston University with 489 points and Brown with 436 points. In Division III, the University of Michigan took first place with 312 points, followed by University at Albany with 285 points, and Northeastern with 247 points.
In addition to the season trophies, league superlatives are often awarded at the last tournament of the season. This year, the league Male and Female MVP awards were awarded to Kyosun Ku (Cornell) and Kyra Tomlinson (Tufts), respectively. The Student Leader Award was presented to Rachel Larsen (Cortland). On winning the Male MVP award, Ku replied “it is an honor to receive the male MVP award. I really looked up to past Cornellians that won this award so it means that much more to me. I gave it my all not only to become the best version of myself in both sparring and poomsae, but also to be a leader on my team. It was a special experience to be a part of the Cornell team that hoisted the league cup for each of the four years that I have been competing in the ECTC." On receiving the student leader award, Larson noted that “ receiving this award really meant a lot to me. I don't always feel like I am doing the best job taking care of my team, but to know that so many other coaches felt I was a good leader is incredible”. Finally, Tomlinson, who first started taekwondo as a white belt her freshman year and is now competing in her final tournament on the Tufts team as a senior, commented that “at [the MIT tournament my freshman year], I was surprised not only by how much I liked competing, but also by how welcoming the ECTC was towards beginners like me. The friendship and support that I had found in my own team was actually present throughout the entire league”.
Furthermore, Male and Female Referee of the Year and Tournament Committee Members of the Year awards are also given. This year the recipients were for the Referees of the Year award Adam Gildea and Lauren Belvy, and the Tournament Committee Members of the Year awards were awarded to Ashish Banerjee and Yvette Boon, respectively.
The 2016-17 ECTC Season was another fantastic season. We, on behalf of the, league, would like to wish all of the graduating students good luck in their future endeavors and remind alumni that they are always welcome. We look forward to seeing everyone else return for the 2017-18 season!