ISU Tae Kwon Do club ready to host national tournament

Nicol Ausen

Tae Kwon Do athletes of all skill levels will come together tonight to represent their schools in the National Collegiate Tae Kwon Do Association Championships.

The ISU Tae Kwon Do Club is preparing to host, as well as compete in the event in Ames this weekend.

Iowa State has traditionally been a force in the national tournament.

They last won the team championship title in 1998, and have placed in the top three for the past 15 years.

This year they’re taking 36 club members to nationals. Club president Chris Thompson is optimistic about the team’s chance at the title.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in several of our athletes, veterans and new-comers,” said Thompson, graduate student in business administration.

The club has been training intensely for the past few months, with practices twice a week in the evenings and conditioning workouts three days a week in the early morning.

“It’s been amazing,” said Miranda Hinrichs, senior in English and secondary education. “In the conditioning workouts, people have been working really hard and encouraging one another.”

Both Thompson and Hinrichs took home individual championship medals in last year’s competition.

More than 400 athletes are registered to compete in sparring and forms competitions this year.

There are eight weight classes for men and women.

“These are Olympic competitors that are here in Ames for this weekend,” Hinrichs said.

Iowa State’s biggest competitors are University of California, Berkley; Texas A&M and the University of Iowa. Iowa State and Berkley have combined to win the last eight national championships.

Forms Competition starts at 7:00 tonight at the Best Western.

Opening ceremonies start at 9 a.m. tomorrow, with sparring competition starting at 9:30 a.m. at Beyer Hall and State Gym.