Taekwondo teams win nine medals at NCTA Nationals in D.C.
April 8, 2018 | Washington, D.C.
Members of Liberty University's men's and women's taekwondo teams collected one gold, five silver, and three bronze medals at Saturday's and Sunday's National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) Championships hosted by American University in Washington, D.C.
The tournament drew the largest field in its 43-year history with over 600 collegiate athletes, more than half competing in black belt divisions.
"For the newcomers, competing at nationals can be a little intimidating, but for those students who plan to be on the team going forward, there's nothing you can do to replicate that experience," Liberty Head Coach Tom Childress said, noting that it was a long two days of competition. "On Saturday, we got out there at 8 a.m. and didn't leave until almost midnight."
On Sunday, both of Liberty's female black belt heavyweight competitors, sophomore Megan Carswell and junior Tyler Crease, advanced to the semifinals before losing in the single-elimination bracket to the eventual champion and runner-up.
"We did really well," Childress said. "Two of our men's welterweight black belts (junior Thomas Siff and sophomore Clint Stinchcomb) made it to the round of eight before losing to the eventual gold medal winner and the guy who fought him in the final."
Lady Flames senior Moriah Martin and sophomore Shelby Wilson reached the round of eight in the women's black belt welterweight division.
In Saturday's novice color belt competition, freshman Joanna Woolsey captured Liberty's only gold medal for fighting in the women's blue belt middleweight class. The Flames' silver medal fighting finishers were men's junior red belt middleweight Drew Haack, senior blue belt heavyweight Jonathan Panzera, sophomore red belt heavyweight Nathan Edmondson, senior red belt heavyweight Tykeyah Henderson, and senior green belt lightweight Sarah Porter, who also placed a team-high fifth in forms.
Graduate Rebecca Cook earned a bronze medal for fighting in the green belt middleweight.
In all, the 24 Lady Flames and Flames totaled 16 team points between the color and black belt fighting competitions, their highest point total to date and only six points behind third-place California-Davis.