The East Regional Championships for boxing went on over the weekend in the White Building, despite Army being in a roll over van accident Friday morning that left eight members of their team unable to compete.
The tournament ran from Friday until Sunday, when the finals were held, and featured boxers from Penn State, Maryland, Georgetown, Shippensburg, the Coast Guard, Virginia Military Institute, Army, UMass and Lock Haven.
Penn State will send seven boxers to the nationals, with Titos Gosalvez looking for a wild card spot. Gosalvez finished third in the 147-pound weight class with a win over Blair Vorsatz of Georgetown on Sunday. Gosalvez won via a third round decision after taking over the second round with a flurry of punches left Vorsatz with blood running down his shirt.
“In the middle of the second round, I could see he was getting tired with taking stumbling steps backwards,” Gosalvez said about his Sunday fight. “He was a tough kid, he kept swinging.”
Penn State went 7-5 in its bouts over the weekend and 2-3 in their championship bouts on Saturday. But Penn State boxing coach Jack Rohrabaugh still felt optimistic about how many boxers the Nittany Lions are sending to nationals, which are being held on April 5-7 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Any time I’m with Penn State boxers, I’m with the best of the best and I really mean that,” Rohrabaugh said about his team’s performance over the weekend.
Army, which is the four-time defending champion at the nationals, had to overcome a van accident, which left the Black Knights with eight boxers that could not compete in the tournament. This led to Penn State winning one match over Army via forfeit.
“Talking about Army this weekend was stepping into grievous territory due to the accident,” Rohrabaugh said. “And walkovers are not what the boxers want.”
Despite this, Army had a successful weekend as it had two boxers win championship bouts in against Penn State. The Black Knights’ Zoar Morales won the 165-pound championship bout over Will Morrill on Saturday, while Army’s John Maddux defeated Dan Nysch on Sunday.
The weekend also highlighted fights between Army and Coast Guard, as members of the two squads faced off three times during the weekend, once each day.
Coast Guard won two fights over Army, including a championship bout on Sunday between Zach Hildebrant from Army and Justin Maio from Coast Guard on a third-round decision.
These fights ended up with fans of both sides trying to drown the other side out with noise as heated moments of the fights featured the Army Team chanting “Army!” in succession while the Coast Guard fans countered with “Let’s Go Coast Guard.”
The weekend ended with Army feeling confidence heading into the nationals after picking up a key win in the 175 pound weight class final.
Source: Walter Heft, Collegian