Air Force Claims 31st NCBA Regional Title
March 20, 2011
RENO, Nev. - The Air Force boxing team earned its 31st regional title with a dominating performance during the final night of competition at the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) West Regional Championships late Saturday (March 19) in Reno, Nev. Five Falcons claimed individual title, as the squad picked up their 31st title in the last 32 years.
With 74 total points, Air Force nearly doubled the combined scores of the second- and third-place teams. Host Nevada finished second with 25 points, while UNLV took third with 22 points.
Junior Dan Starr picked up the Falcons' first championship win, when he decisioned Santa Clara's Pat Welde in the 139-pound bout. For his efforts, Starr was named the Academy's Boxer of the Week.
"He boxed really well," assistant coach Capt Blake Baldi said. "Dan won a great decision in one of the best bouts of the tournament."
Senior Mike McLain claimed his second consecutive regional title at 175 pounds, when the referee stopped his contest with Nevada's Dylan Crosby in the first round. Fellow senior Will Keuchler won his first regional title at 185 pounds by decisioning Cal's Mike Hastings. Freshman Zac Spranger also won his inaugural regional title, taking a decision from Ryan Wilson of UCLA.
Sophomore Drew Pineda (112 pounds) and senior Matt DeMars (119 pounds) claimed regional titles as unopposed contenders. In addition, senior Dalton Hall won his 165-pound bout with San Francisco's Ramsey Ayloush by walkover.
Two other Falcons advanced to the national championships by finishing second at the regional meet. Senior Michael Mizes lost a decision to Jerome Foster of UNLV at 132 pounds, while classmate Mike Chambers fell in his heavyweight contest with UNLV's Brett Rather, when the referee stopped the contest in the second round.
In addition, senior Joe Silvio took a decision from Cal's Andrew Vasilj in the third-place bout of the 165-pound contest.
Air Force will return to the Academy to train over spring break, before heading to West Point, N.Y., for the 2011 NCBA National Championships on April 7-9.
Championship Round Bouts (Air Force only)
Third-Place Bouts (Air Force only)