Six Boxers Advance To NCBA Finals
April 5, 2002
Annapolis, MD - Air Force advanced six boxers into the finals of the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) Championships Friday night and are on the brink of winning their fourth consecutive national team title.
The Falcons go into Saturday's finals at the U.S. Naval Academy's Halsey Auditorium with 18 team points. Host Navy is second with 15 followed by a three-way tie for third with Army, Lock Haven and UNLV with nine.
Navy has just five boxers in the finals to give the Falcons a slim edge. "I think we really have a realistic shot at successfully defending the national title," said head coach Eddie Weichers. "We got off to a great start Friday when Darren Smith defeated Ahmad Ghaffar from Navy who was a senior."
Both of the Falcons defending national champions, Ulysses Linares and Dustin Brown advanced to the finals. Linares, fighting in the 147-pound division, won a decision of VMI's Tony Peters while Brown, who drew a bye in the quarterfinals defeated Michigan's Brian Levenberg in the 195-pound weight class.
For the second night in the row, Justin Pendry won his heavyweight bout by stopping his opponent in the first round. In Friday's semis, he defeated Luke Runion from Penn State. The victory sets up a re-match against UNLV's Louis O'Hiaeri who won a hard-fought decision over Pendry in the NCBA regionals two weeks ago in Reno, NV.
119-lb. Weight Division -- Darren Smith, Air Force dec. Ahmad Ghaffar, Navy