Taekwondo team reaps four medals at NCTA Championships
April 21, 2019 | Austin, Texas
Liberty University's men's and women's taekwondo teams combined for two silver and two bronze medals at the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) National Championships over the weekend.
The Flames and Lady Flames sent eight of their color belts and four of their black belts to the 44th annual event, which attracted more than 400 competitors to the University of Texas at Austin's Recreational Sports Center.
"They both did a great job and lost their championship matches by one or two points, so every kick made a difference," Liberty Head Coach Tom Childress said. "Their matches came down to the last second, and they were full of action."
Also on Saturday, junior Abigael Faber captured a bronze medal in the female welterweight green belt competition for Liberty's last color belt medalist.
"All of them had good matches, and everybody made it past the first round," Childress said.
On Easter Sunday, both of Liberty's red belts, junior Joseph Tapia and senior Jacki Baumann, lost their first-round matches to eventual champions.
"They both fought well and their matches were really close and could have gone either way," Childress said.
Flames senior black belt Thomas Siff concluded the competition for Liberty by earning a bronze medal in the welterweight division, winning his final third-place bout.
"The match he lost was to last year's champion from UCLA, who is a member of Team USA and is ranked in the top 10 in the nation among welterweights," Childress said. "Most of the finalists on Sunday were Team USA members, which is not uncommon. Collegiate nationals are always extremely competitive."
Childress is hoping for a strong incoming class of recruits as the team will be graduating its largest class to date in May.