Falcons Capture Regional Title
March 24, 2002
Air Force captured the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) regional team title Saturday at Reno's (NV) El Dorado Hotel as seven Falcon boxers won gold medals and advanced to the National Championships scheduled for April 4-6 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
The Falcons tallied 66 total points by adding three silver and two bronze medals to their team total in the three-day tournament. UNLV was a distance second with 36 points with Nevada third at 23.
"I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this team," said head coach Eddie Weichers, Jr. "I believe this is our 23 consecutive regional title andthis was one of the hardest fought regionals that I have attended in my 25 years as the coach."
"We had some boxers going to the dance for the first time and this experience will only make them better. I just thought all of our boxers didn't give an inch in any of their bouts," said Weichers.
Defending national champion Ulyssess Linares and Dustin Brown won both their bouts Saturday before a standing-room-only crowd in El Dorado's grand ballroom. Brown, the 2002 Wing Open Outstanding Boxer, stopped UNLV's Bill Wheeler in the second round in a 195-pound bout. Linares earned a decision in the 147-pound division over Nevada's Shaw Ebra.
The Falcons lost only two of their nine bouts Saturday. One of the biggest disappointments came in the heavyweight division when Justin Pendry lost a decision to UNLV's Louis O'Hia. Pendry made the finals by stopping Caliifornia's Derrick Zahlar in the first round in Friday's semifinal bout.
"I thought Justin's bout was a tough decision. For him to make it to the regional finals in his only year as a boxer, tells you something about how good an athlete he is," said Weichers.
119-lb. Division - C4C Darren Smith dec. Lydon Mamlapao, UNLV