Four Liberty competitors place at Duke scrimmage
March 2, 2013 | Durham, N.C.
Liberty University's tae kwon do team sent 10 competitors to Saturday's scrimmage against Duke and North Carolina, hosted by the Blue Devils. Between 35 and 40 competitors participated in the event.
Faith Smith turned in the Flames' best overall performance, placing second in the women's black belt middleweight division.
"She's the only female blackbelt that we have and she was our strongest competitor (in the scrimmage)," Liberty head coach Jesse Wilson said, noting there were five or six other female blackbelts in the scrimmage. "Faith was more aggressive in her fighting."
Fellow freshman James Roy took second place in the men's black belt heavyweight division. Also representing the Flames, sophomore Joro Ianouchev had a third-place showing in the black belt light-heavyweight division and freshman C.J. Johnson claimed third place in the black belt middleweight division.
"Joro, C.J., and James are very good competitors," Wilson said. "They were going up against some really good Duke competitors. This was much more intense competition" than what Liberty saw at its last scrimmage on Feb. 9, hosted by the University of Virginia.
"All of our team members did well and we are appreciative that Duke hosted this scrimmage," Wilson said, noting Duke and UNC are trying to get a conference started in the Southeast.
Duke's tae kwon do club has been competing for approximately 20 years and is now in the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC). It placed third overall at the ECTC tournament hosted by Princeton this past fall.
"This was a great learning experience for our team in preparing to compete in the ECTC next year," Wilson said, noting the rules for collegiate tae kwon do events are very different than those at open martial arts tournaments. "We're going to start going to a couple of the tournaments in that conference next year and we'll be going to the next ECTC tournament in the fall."