Air Force Opens Wing Open Tournament with 11 Bouts
Feb. 17, 2011
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The 2011 Wing Open Tournament kicked off this afternoon (Feb. 17), as 22 members of the Air Force boxing team took part in the annual quarterfinal bouts at the Cadet Gym Boxing Room. The 11 first-round bouts ranged from 147 pounds to the 175-pound weight class. Junior Casey Habluetzel was named the Academy's Boxer of the Week.
Competing at 165 pounds, Habluetzel defeated freshman Aaron Wurster in a referee-stopped-contest (third round). Habluetzel was able to use his experience and excellent counterpunching to win the bout.
Also competing at 165 pounds was senior Dalton Hall, the defending Wing Open champion at that weight class. Hall defeated Allen Waddell in the second round, when the referee was forced to call the bout. That weight class also provided one of the closest bouts of the quarterfinals, as senior Patrick Ryan won a decision over sophomore Clayton Elliott. Ryan battled back from a slow start against his southpaw opponent, finding a way to work inside and find a scoring right hand.
Also competing at 165 pounds was Tyler Ludwig, one of five freshmen to advance out of the quarterfinal round of competition. Ludwig defeated his sophomore opponent Dalton Miller in the first round. Using a reach advantage and combination punching, Ludwig was able to overwhelm his opponent before the first bell.
Four other freshmen that advanced to the Wing Open semifinals, including Sean Cork, John Alora, Chris Nelson and Denis Vorobyov. Cork and Alora both won their 147-pound bouts, as Cork defeated Scott Wooden in the second round and Alora decisioned Adonis Reiler. Nelson and Vorobyov both advanced out of the 175-pound bracket. Nelson took a decision from Sam Janasov, while Vorobyov claimed a victory over Vance Hawk when the official called their contest in the third round.
Junior Mike McLain, the two-time defending Wing Open champion at 175 pounds, took a decision from senior Matt Tasin. As the coaches said, McLain had "everything working tonight", as he combined good offense and defense to take the judges' decision.
Mike Leland won his 156-pound bout with Nolan Hebein, while junior Tyrus Korecki took a decision from Darren Stowe in the same weight class.
The Wing Open Tournament continues next Wednesday (Feb. 23), with the semifinal round of action at 4:30 p.m., in the Cadet Gym Boxing Room. It will be the final chance for 32 contenders to claim their spot in the finals of the Wing Open Championships, which will be held on Thursday, March 3, in Clune Arena.