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Bears take top prize at inaugural home Taekwondo tournament

Following promotion to club sport status, Bruno dominates ECTC Tournament with plethora of medals

After years of being a Category 3 student group on campus, the Taekwondo team took on the club sport title this semester.

The group came out strong this semester in its inaugural tournament with a third-place finish at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The team won its first tournament in its newly christened role Nov. 22 at the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference Tournament hosted by the victors themselves in the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center. Brown welcomed 365 competitors from 20 schools, ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast and including the University of Michigan, MIT and Pennsylvania State University to compete in this day-long tournament.

Taekwondo competition is broken down into two parts: forms competition and sparring. Participants in each are divided by belt level: black, upper color and lower color. In forms, competitors execute set moves and are judged by a panel of referees. In sparring, teams of three compete against one another. A team consists of one individual from each weight class — heavy, middle and light — and a school can have more than one team. Consequently, it is a single-elimination tournament, and a team progresses if two of its three competitors win their matchups. Points are awarded to each school based on the success of the contestants in both forms and sparring. The further an individual or team advances, the more points the school earns.

Bruno competes in Division Two, a status determined by the number of total points the team amassed last year. By the end of the ECTC Tournament, Brown Taekwondo and its 37 contributors boasted a higher point total than all seven of its division rivals, solidifying its first crown of the year. In forms, Blue-belter Cheyenne Morrin ’15 and Green-belter Anita Yun ’17 captured silver medals to power the Bruno effort. The Bears similarly boasted multiple medal-winning teams in sparring. For the women, the team of Nari Lee ’17, Morgan Cheatham ’17, Jenna Merrin ’15 and Katelynn Pan ’18 and the team of Morrin and Oriana Shulevitz-Rosado ’16 each captured silver medals. On the men’s side, the team of Ian Cheung ’16, Jacques Van Anh ’16 and Alpha Diallo ’15 grabbed silver.

Erica Thieleman ’15, the club’s president, thought the atmosphere at Bruno’s only home tournament of the semester improved the experience. “There was a lot of spirit, and we had 15 alumni there too. It was just a great family event,” she said.

The tournament win bodes well for the team as it heads into more competitive tournaments in the spring, Thieleman said.

“I’m really proud (of the team). This was the first tournament that most of our new members were able to compete in. It was really fun to watch them contribute to the team,” she said.

The tournament crown is not Brown Taekwondo’s first time in the spotlight. The team has experienced the sweet taste of victory fairly often in recent history — in the last four years, the team has emerged in first place at Collegiate Nationals, which occurs in the spring. The team is led by their instructor Master Sung Park ’96, a sixth degree black belt.


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