|Angel Fonseca (Penn State) vs. Jeff Bobo (Coast Guard)|
After a good showing at the Eastern Regional Championship Tournament, three Penn State boxers are heading to the national tournament. David Martinez, Chad Ennis and Dan Nysch all earned silver medals at this weekend’s tournament and are advancing to nationals, held in West Point at Army from April 7-9.
“It’s an awesome experience,” said Nysch (junior-actuarial science). “I never would have expected it.”
Martinez (sophomore-graphic design) will be boxing at 119 pounds at nationals, while Ennis will be fighting at 175 and Nysch at 185. All three have high hopes and strong ambitions to bring national title belts back to Happy Valley.
The top two boxers in each weight class automatically advanced to nationals, and some bronze medallists are also invited through at-large bids. Jay Petraitis (senior-energy business finance) won a bronze medal boxing at 165 pounds and has an opportunity to move on to nationals if he is rewarded with one of the bids. The returning All-American hopes to advance to West Point, but it is all up to the National Collegiate Boxing Association’s decision.
“Jay should get an at-large bid with his 9-6 record. He should also get it because he was an All-American last year, too,” said Dave Vacco, assistant coach of the boxing club. All of the boxers who received medals at regionals are already looking toward West Point.
“It’s going to be a lot of had work and dedication,” said Ennis (senior-crime law and justice), who is making his first trip to nationals. “I’m just glad to see it all coming together. I would like to thank my teammates and coaches so much.”
The preparation for nationals begins today, with less than three weeks until the tournament. “We are going to do a lot of running and conditioning,” Vacco said. “It’s time to go hard, baby. The guys that go to nationals do whatever it takes, so I’m going to push them.”
Read more: The Daily Collegian