Seven First-Time Champions Highlight 50th Wing Open
March 2, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Nine members of the Air Force boxing team added their names to the 50-year history of the Wing Open Championships, claiming victories on Sunday, March 2. Highlighted by two repeat champions and seven first-time winners, the Falcons' post-season "Dirty Dozen" was decided under the lights of Clune Arena. Senior Brian Navin was the 2008 recipient of the Outstanding Boxer Award for his impressive victory in the 139-pound weight division.
A two-time runner-up in the championship bout, junior Dean Chuva earned his first Wing Open title in the 112-pound weight division, as he defeated freshman Matt DeMars by unanimous decision. Chuva was able to use his experience to stop the quick newcomer. Junior David Simon earned redemption from last year's finals, as he halted sophomore Alexander Shin's repeat bid in the 132-pound weight class. Two evenly matched contenders, Simon edged Shin by a split decision vote.
In the 139-pound contest, Navin concluded his Wing Open career the way he began it ... with a Wing Open title. Navin, who won a title in the 132-pound weight class as a freshman, stopped sophomore standout Bailey Ball with a referee-stopped-contest. Despite Ball's quick movement around the ring, Navin was able to stop the bout in the second round. Navin becomes the second 139-pound boxer in the past three years to earn the Clune Outstanding Boxer Award.
Junior Nathan Liptak held off a late series of third-round strikes from freshman Michael Dunn to win his first-ever Wing Open title in the 147-pound weight division, while senior Daryn Nelson decisioned classmate Ryan Price to take his first championship at 156 pounds.
The weight class didn't matter for senior Clifford Moore. A two-time champion at the 156-pound weight class, Moore moved up a weight class to earn his first165-pound title following a decision over classmate James Dunn. Junior Lucas Gagliardi won his first Wing Open title after taking a decision over senior Jacob Lambach.
Junior Boyce Loomis successfully defending his Wing Open title at 185 pounds, as he earned a victory over freshman Matt Tasin. Strong from the start, Loomis caused the referee to stop the contest before the first bell sounded following a trio of standing-eight counts. In the final bout of the night, senior Chris Johnson took the 195-pound decision from junior Richard Kenny. At just 5'8", Johnson was able stay close to his 6'3" opponent throughout the three-round bout.
Three bouts went uncontested. Juniors Jesse Horton (119 pounds) and Harvey White (125 pounds) were unopposed in their respective weight divisions, while sophomore Cory Tintzman claimed the heavyweight title, following a medical walkover against junior Joshua Henderson-Casteel.
The winners from this afternoon's competition form the nucleus of the Air Force squad that will travel to the regional and national championships. The Falcons' post-season gets underway on Thursday, March 27, when they travel to Santa Clara, Calif., for the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) Western Regionals.
RESULTS FROM WING OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS