Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League Fall Championships

Beautiful medals given out by CU

Henderson, CO – The Rocky Mountain Collegiate Taekwondo League hosted its fall championships on November 11th, 2012. The event was organized by CU Boulder Taekwondo, with David Lee as the director. The tournament featured competition for all levels of college students, from first time beginners to some of the top competitors in the nation and world. There were people who had never put on sparring gear before, and people who will compete in a few weeks at the US Team Trials and a few months at the 2013 World Championships. Paloma Gonzalez, president of the Auraria Campus Taekwondo program stated: “This league is so fun, it gives us the opportunity to compete without the pressure and stress of other tournaments.” Master Marcus Santos of Arapahoe Community College Agreed. “It Was a fun and friendly tournament. Thank you for all organizers.”

The competition was fierce in the black belt divisions. In women’s forms, there was some confusion and divisions were split, resulting in Heather Gibson (ACT), Kinsey Muso (ACC), and Nicole Anderson (CU) all taking first. The Men’s black belt forms was extremely competitive with almost 15 competitors. Dale Zamora (ACT) earned 15 points, followed by Roy Mejia (ACT) and Cameron Carter (CU).

Action in the Men’s Featherweight sparring with other competitors looking on

In Men’s A Team (Varsity) sparring, the featherweight division was very competitive, with the finals coming down to a match between former US Team Trials competitor Roy Mejia (ACT) and Iraqi National Team Member Ahmed Alsubaihawi (ACT). Despite only recently coming back from injury, Mejia sparred well but lost to Alsubaihawi. The Men’s Welterweight division was also competitive, and Emad Ismael (ACT) had to win four matches to claim the title. Ismael was following up on his US National Collegiate Championships gold medal, which he claimed in the color belt division. He nearly had to settle for silver as Nick Merten from CU Boulder hit him with a head shot, however, it was one second after time expired. The heavyweight division was split into two to give more experience to teammates Cameron Weber (CSU) and Aaron Turner (ACC), two of the top competitors in the country. They sparred Harrison Archer (ACT) and Sam Douglass (ACT), in order to give more experience to to the beginning competitors.

From Left to Right- Aaron Turner (US National Champion, heavyweight) Ahmed A (Iraq National Team) and Cameron Weber (US National Silver Medalist, Middleweight)

In the Women’s A Team Sparring, the flyweight finals match was between Kinsey Muso (ACC) and Paloma Gonzalez (ACT) came down to the wire, with Muso taking control with only seconds left. She was coming off her bronze medal in the US Collegiate Taekwondo Championships. Paloma Gonzalez was sparring a demo match after she won the women’s featherweight division, defeating Nicole Anderson (CU). The A Team Welterweight division featured two former AAU National Team members facing off against each other. It was a hard fought battle, but Heather Gibson (ACT) earned the victory against Sammy Saltamachia (AFA).

All in all it was a great day and great competition. The league is now to the point where it should be able to attract teams from other states, as there is great competition across different genders, weights, and skill levels. The next event will be hosted by Metro State in the Spring (likely May) of 2013. Rachel Challman from CU spoke to the value of the event for beginners when she said  “As a white belt, it was a great first sparring and forms experience :)” Cameron (CU) also summed up the entire event “It was a fun competition for experience. Excellent sportsmanship among everyone”

The final team standings were as follows:

1. Auraria Campus Taekwondo (ACT) 290
2. University of Colorado Boulder (CU) 120
3. Arapahoe Community College (ACC) 41
4. Colorado State University (CSU) 20
5. University of Northern Colorado (UNC) 13
6. Air Force Academy (AFA) 11

These points will be added to the points earned in the Spring Championships to determine the Cup winners for the 2012-2013 Season. To see the full results [xls] , click here.

The leading MVP Candidates for women were Kinsey Muso and Heather Gibson, each with 30 points for their teams. For the men Emad Ismael had 25 points and Roy Mejia 22 points.

The CU Boulder team had a ton of fun hosting.


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