Eight Penn State fighters are preparing for a chance to go to nationals, as they suit up for this weekend’s Eastern Regional Championship at LionHeart Fitness.
The tournament pits individuals from nine schools against each other for ultimate bragging rights. The top teams entering this weekend’s regional tournament are Penn State, Army, and Lock Haven.
“It’s about 300 seats and almost sold out. It makes for a great atmosphere,” said Dave Vacco, assistant coach for Penn State Club Boxing.
The team is also looking forward to the “home atmosphere” and that has helped with its preparation.
“The home crowd should be cool,” said Andrew Ezzat (sophomore-psychology). “I think that we trained a lot harder than other teams with running and conditioning.”
Those preparations begin early in the morning before classes start with team runs. The team then has practice from 6-8 p.m.
Most of the boxers also train at public or private gyms on their own time.
“Penn State is always the big team to beat,” said head coach Jack Rohrabaugh. “ We train harder than any other team. And come this weekend, we are going to do some damage because we are so well conditioned.”
Matches consist of three two-minute rounds, but Vacco trains the boxers for three-minute rounds, which he said leads to better conditioning and stamina.
The regional tournament kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday with quarterfinals and goes until 10, with an intermission from 5-6 p.m. Semifinals begin at noon Saturday and go to 8 p.m. with an intermission from 3:30-4:30.
Then the championship round is at 11 a.m. Sunday and lasts until about 2:30 p.m. The top-three boxers from each weight class advance to nationals at West Point.
Read more: The Daily Collegian