Academy Boxers Gear Up for Wing Open Semifinals
Feb. 24, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - A place in the main ring is on the line for 24 members of the Air Force boxing team, as the Wing Open Tournament continues tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 25) with 12 semifinal bouts in the Upper Boxing Room. The final pairings for next Sunday's championship round will be determined in seven different weight classes, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The first bout of the night features a pair of squad-mates. Sophomore Michael Mizes will face senior Dean Chuva in a 132-pound matchup to see which boxer will represent Cadet Squadron 24 in the finals. Chuva is the defending Wing Open and NCBA champion at 112 pounds, but bulked up for the 2009 season to compete in the 132-pound division. The winner will face defending Wing Open champion Dave Simon in next week's finals.
Both ends of the bracket are up for grabs in the next 10 bouts, beginning with the 139-pound weight class. Junior Bailey Ball, last year's Wing Open runner-up in this weight class, will face off against freshman Daniel Starr. That winner will face either freshman Ethan Salgado or junior Seth Gunn, who will square off in the next bout. Gunn was a finalist in 2007, before illness kept him out of the 2008 contest.
At 156 pounds, freshman Tyrus Korecki will take on classmate Jeffrey Witt. That bout will be followed by a matchup between senior Rudy Bowen and sophomore Joe Silvio. Senior Austin Almand will face off with freshman Casey Habluetzel in the first of two bouts in the 165-pound weight class. The winner of that bout will advance to the finals to take on the winner of the contest between freshman Nick Cataldo and senior Justin Lee.
Defending Wing Open champion Lucas Gagliardi will look to return to the ring at Clune Arena, when he takes on fellow senior Jon Andresen at 175 pounds. The winner's opponent will be determined by the outcome of the second bout at that weight class featuring senior Lincoln Miller and freshman Mike McLain.
Senior Andrew Catoire, the Wing Open champion as a freshman, will face off against freshman Fred Johnson in the first of two 195-pound bouts. In the other half of that bracket, senior Kevin Williams (the team captain of the Air Force water polo team) will toe the line with sophomore Reggie Howard.
The final bout of the evening will feature a pair of heavyweight contestants in senior Garrett Gilbertson and sophomore Mike Chambers. Competing in their first Wing Open Tournament, the duo will vie for the right to advance to the finals and face defending Wing Open champion Cory Tintzman.
Action will begin at 4:30 p.m., in the Upper Boxing Room of the Cadet West Gym. Admission is free.
WING OPEN SEMIFINAL LINE-UP