US National Collegiate Team Selected at 40th NCTA Championships on April 4-5, 2015
The National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) held the 40th National Collegiate Taekwondo Championships on April 4 and 5, 2015 in Newark, DE at the University of Delaware, run by tournament director Rex Hatfield, and presided over by NCTA president Russell Ahn. Over 500 athletes participated from over 75 different colleges and universities. At the conclusion of the tournament, 24 athletes were selected to represent the United States at the Summer World University Games in Gwangju, Korea from July 3-14, 2015.
Eight athletes were selected to represent the United States in the poomsae divisions. Eddie Jeong (University of Bridgeport) won the men's individual division, and Carissa Fu (Boston University) won the women's individual division. Kody Han (University of California, Berkeley) and Kelsey Ha (Evergreen Valley College) won the mixed pair division. Han, Albert Jong (San Jose State University), and Lance Supnet (California State University, East Bay) earned the men's team spot, and Fu, Miyako Yerick (University of Texas, Austin) and Michelle Chen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) earned the women's team spot.
Fu is returning for her 7th time on the US collegiate poomsae team, and she earned a bronze medal at the 2014 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships (1st senior) and a bronze medal at the 2010 World University Taekwondo Championships women's team poomsae. Yerick and Chen are returning for their third team. Han and Jong are returning for their second collegiate team, with Jong recently earning a gold medal at the 2014 World Poomsae Championships (1st Team). Ha and Jeong are on their first collegiate teams. Both earned a bronze medals at the 2014 World Poomsae Championships (Freestyle Team and 1st Pair, respectively).
The sparring divisions were contested in a single elimination bracket, with double elimination beginning at the semifinal rounds. In the men's divisions, the winners were Emmanuel Fountain (-54 kg, Tidewater Community College), Kelvin Ortiz (-58 kg, Broward College), William Jackson (-63 kg, University of Texas, Dallas), Jensen Ishida (-68 kg, University of Hawaii-Manoa), Jaysen Ishida (-74 kg, University of Hawaii-Manoa), Jared Reed (-80 kg, California State University, East Bay), Jonathan Healy (-87 kg, Liberty University), and Stephen Lambdin (+87 kg, Dallas Community College).
Lambdin is returning for his fifth collegiate team and has earned bronze medals at the 2008 & 2012 World University Taekwondo Championships, and recently was named to the 2014 WTF Grand Prix Finals where he placed fourth last year. Jensen Ishida is returning for his third collegiate team. Jaysen Ishida is on his second collegiate team and earned a bronze medal at the 2014 World University Taekwondo Championships. Reed is also on his third collegiate team and earned a bronze medal at the 2014 World University Taekwondo Championships.
In the women's sparring divisions, this year's team members are Samery Moras (-46 kg, University of Utah), Jessie Bates (-49 kg, New Mexico Highlands University), Carissa Fu (-53 kg, Boston University), Aziza Chambers (-57 kg, Wright State University), Lauren Bensinger (-62 kg, Hillsborough Community College), Amanda Bluford (-67 kg, Florida International University), Jean Smith (-73 kg, Princeton University), and Jackie Galloway (+73 kg, Southern Methodist University). Moras, Bates, Fu, Chambers and Galloway are all returning team members.
Aziza Chambers is returning for her sixth collegiate team, and earned a bronze medal at the 2011 World University Games. Moras is returning for her third consecutive collegiate team. Jackie Galloway is returning for her third collegiate team and earned a gold medal at the 2014 World University Taekwondo Championships, the first for the US since 2002, as well as a bronze medal at the 2015 World Taekwondo Championships. Bates and Fu are also on their second consecutive collegiate sparring team. Fu is also competing in poomsae.
The male athlete of the year at the NCTA Championships was Jared Reed. Reed won the -80 kg division for the second year in a row and earned a bronze medal at last year's World University Taekwondo Championships. The female athlete of the year was Samery Moras. Moras qualified for her third consecutive US National Collegiate Team at the -46kg sparring spot. The freshman athlete of the year was Jonathan Healy, who won the male -87kg division during his first year of collegiate eligibility.
The Coach of the Year was Rex Hatfield of Princeton University, who served both as tournament director, and placed his school in the top three in both the Combined and Novice divisions in addition to coaching two national collegiate sparring team members. The Referees of the Year were Angela De Oliveira (female) and Byung Yoo (male).