MIT Taekwondo Team Takes Second Place at Cornell Tournament

A mere three weeks after the first Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference tournament, the MIT Sport Taekwondo Club traveled to Cornell University to compete in the second tournament of the year on Saturday, November 7. Despite facing a twenty-man disadvantage against rival Cornell University, the team finished in second place.

MIT opened the day with the forms portion of the competition. Erika L. Lee ’12 tied for second place and Rebecca Hung ’11 took fourth place in the women’s black belt division. Team captain Jason Uh ’10 captured first place for the men.

ZheChen “Mary” Hong ’10 and Shammi S. Quddus ’10 took gold and silver respectively in women’s red belt forms while Wenxian Hong G took second in the men’s red belt division.

In the blue belt division, Christine T. Hsueh ’10 and Hsinjung “Sophia” Li ’11 finished first and second, and Alvin S. Chen ’11 took first place in the men’s division.

The MIT green belts had a similarly strong showing, with Christopher M. Williams G taking second place in the men’s division and Bradley Wu ’11 following in third place; Sharon W. Tam’10 took second in the women’s division.

Rounding out the forms competition, Mengfei Yang ’12 took second out of forty women yellow belt competitors.

Going into the sparring portion of the competition, MIT led by 124 points.

Sparring got off to an exciting start with the veteran women’s A1 team (team captain Ranbel F. Sun ’10, Hong, Lee), easily defeating the University of Michigan and Princeton University to face long-time rival Cornell A1 in the finals. The match came down to the last second, with Cornell’s Ping Liu inching out Lee with a turning kick to take the gold. The women’s A2 team (Quddus, Li, Kristina Lozoya ’13) also fought valiantly, taking bronze right behind A1. The women’s A3 team (Hsueh, Michelle Wang ’13, Teresa “Ty” Lin ’12) made it to the quarterfinals, and the A4 team (Yinjen “Angela” Wang ’13, Shelly Jin ’13) made a solid debut.

The men’s A teams both met tough opponents in the first round. The A1 team (Hong, Uh, Iliya T. Tsekov G) fell to NYU, and the A2 team (Daniel J. Sauza ’11, Ijeoma “EJ” Emeagwali ’12) fell to RIT.

Some of MIT’s most dominating matches were fought in the B division. The women’s B1 team (Sun, Hong, Lin, Xuan Yang ’13), B2 team (Quddus, Li, Lozoya), and B3 teams (Hsueh, Yang) swept the division while the B4 team (Tara P. Sarathi ’12, Tiffany A. Chen ’12, Jennifer Tran ’11) fell to UPenn.

The men’s B division had tough matchups. The men’s B1 team (Hong, Tsekov, Williams) fell to Cornell, while the men’s B2 team (Wu, Chen, Benjamin Y. Lee ’12, Emeagwali) made it to the quarterfinals.

The C division teams echoed the strong performances of the upper divisions. The women’s C1 (Stephanie P. Chen ’12, Chen, Yang) and C2 (Tam, Laura H. Deming ’13, Trantook third and second places respectively. The women’s C3 (Judith M. Vasquez ’12, Yang) and C4 teams (Tong Li ’13, Wendy Cheng ’13) also made solid debuts. The men’s C team (Wu, Lee, Williams) fought valiantly but bowed out to rest for B division matches.

MIT ended the day in second place with 518 points to Cornell’s 558, but retained first place in the overall league standings. The team competes again Sunday, November 22 at Princeton University.