Taekwondo to send 32 athletes to Cornell for ECTC tourney
October 30, 2017 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's Taekwondo team will send 32 athletes to Ithaca, N.Y., for Sunday's East Coast Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) tournament at Cornell University.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) drew 30 schools and more than 500 competitors to the ECTC's season-opening tournament on Oct. 21. Liberty Head Coach Tom Childress expects the same turnout on Sunday, with athletes from Ivy League schools Brown, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, and Rice, as well as Liberty's Atlantic Collegiate Alliance of Taekwondo (ACAT) rivals Duke, George Mason, and Virginia Tech.
"As we continue to grow, the ECTC is the biggest league around and offers the best competition for us," he said, noting 18-20 of his athletes, nearly all but the black belts, will also compete in forms. "The biggest thing is to see how our newcomers do up there in competition."
The Flames and Lady Flames will enter 11 of their 13 black-belt competitors, all but senior Moriah Martin who will be taking her LSAT exam, and junior Thomas Siff, a defending red belt National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) national champion who broke his finger in practice last week.
Liberty will enter one men's and two full women's black-belt teams (each with one lightweight, one middleweight, and one heavyweight competitor), as well as one two-man team.
Several individual competitors, including sophomore yellow belt Wesley Angerville, another defending national champion, and freshman James Bryant, will also represent Liberty.
Childress is interested to see how senior heavyweight Jonathan Panzera and senior Isaiah Handog, returning national bronze medalists in the blue and green belt divisions, respectively, fare in their first competitions since their belt promotions.
Next Saturday, Liberty will travel to UNC Chapel Hill for the season's first ACAT tournament, with 13 teams expected. That is the last scheduled competition of the Fall semester before the Flames and Lady Flames start gearing up for the NCTA national championships, which will be held on the East Coast in late April or early May.