Taekwondo team wins final ACAT meet, readies for nationals
April 6, 2019 | Blacksburg, Va.
Three of Liberty University's five gold medals in sparring at last weekend's final Atlantic Collegiate Alliance of Taekwondo (ACAT) tournament at Virginia Tech were won by its black belts — seniors Thomas Siff (men's middleweight) and Tyler Creese (women's heavyweight) and junior Shelby Wilson (women's middleweight).
"Shelby was a real standout winner who really dominated her division," Flames Head Coach Tom Childress said. "She is progressing really well. She fought three times and had two technical knockouts (TKOs)."
The Flames and Lady Flames combined to place first out of eight schools in Division I of the ACAT event, with the host Hokies finishing runner-up. Liberty wound up third in the regular-season standings behind UNC Chapel Hill and American University after missing this semester's ACAT meet hosted by the Tar Heels.
Freshman Teagan Molinets also earned a gold medal in sparring while freshman white belt Chung Yu Xia won a bronze in poomsae (forms) and a gold in sparring; junior Jackie Baumann struck silver in both poomsae and sparring; sophomore Joseph Tapia won a gold in poomsae and a silver in sparring; Sarah Porter received a silver in poomsae; and freshmen Samantha Remington and Lauren Western, junior red belt Will Parker, and senior white belt Briana Bendon all captured silver medals in sparring.
Liberty will send 12 of its competitors, a mix of veterans and newcomers, to the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) Championships set for April 20-21 in Austin, Texas — senior Andrew Haack and fellow black belts Siff, Wilson, and sophomore Joseph Tapia as well as color belts Molinets, Baumann, Bendon, Parker, Abigael Faber, and freshmen Elise Baldwin, Sarah Rotter, and Western.
"We're bringing a smaller team for a tournament that size, but if everyone does really well, we can do well as a team," Childress said. "Two years ago in San Diego, we had less than 20 competitors and were four points away from placing third in the Novice division."