Boxers Seek Fourth National Title
April 1, 2002
Air Force will find out if they are the "Lord of The Ring" this weekend when 11 boxers travel to Annapolis to compete in the National Collegiate Boxing Association Championships at the U.S. Naval Academy's Halsey Hall. Competition begins Thursday with quarterfinal bouts and concludes with the finals on Saturday.
Last year the Falcons won their third consecutive national boxing championship and in the process crowned three gold medal winners at the City Pavilion in Reno, NV. The Falcons tallied 37 team points to outscore second-place Penn State with 32 and the Naval Academy with 27.
Two of the three national champions are making the cross-country trip to try and defend their title--Ulysses Linares (147-pound division) and Dustin Brown (195-pound division). Last year, Linares won a unanimous decision over Penn State's Nathan LaBuda. Brown won his second consecutive national title by dominating Max Raymond from UNLV.
The only other Falcon to be making a return trip to the NCBA championships is Joe Harding in the 165-pound weight class. Harding won a bronze medal last year after losing his semifinal bout.
During spring break the boxing team has been training two times a day. The mornings were spent with conditioning drills and "lots of running," according to head coach Eddie Weichers. In the afternoon the team worked on sparring drills, technique and watched films.
"We were fortunate over the break to have the Army team train here," Weichers said. "They have seven cadets in the nationals and we got in a lot of sharp work and some great sparring with them."
Weichers said the main competition for the team title is expected to be between Navy and Air Force. Both teams qualified 11 boxers. So the team total depends on how many boxers advance and win in the finals!
Here is a complete list of boxers in each weight divisions:
112-lbs -- Lawerence Tam, Nevada, Josh Veney, Navy, Art Tusil, Lock Haven , Xenon Mallari, UNLV.