The U.S. Military Academy won its third straight national championship at the National Collegiate Boxing Association championships on Saturday.
Five Army cadets won individual titles, and a total of nine boxers competed in the finals for West Point, which was hosting the championships for the first time. Per the heraldrecord.com, Army’s individual winners were:
- Danilo Garcia (125 pounds)
- Johnny Garcia (132)
- Terrell Anthony (139)
- Steve Henao-Escobar (147)
- Ryle Stous (165)
West Point’s Andrew Manglcimot, Jamal Robinson, Tyler Elliott and Seth King were all runners-up. Two Air Force boxers — Matt DeMars and Cory Tintzman — also won national titles, according to The (Colorado Springs) Gazette.
The USMA boxing program has surged to the top of the college ranks under the leadership of director Ray Barone, a retired soldier who served in the Army for 21 years. Prior to 2008, West Point had never won a national championship. Barone and the West Point team were profiled in a recent New York Times story, which chronicled how Barone took the program from losing to rivals Air Force and Navy every year to winning back-to-back championships.
Gen. Robert Caslen summoned Ray Barone, the boxing director, to his office three years ago. Caslen asked Barone why Army’s boxing team never beat Air Force, or Navy. He wondered why Army never won national championships.To which Barone responded, “Because you won’t let us.”
At West Point, there are 27 club sports, each with a specific amount of authorizations, which free cadets for training during specific periods each day. When Barone took over the boxing program in 1999, he had zero authorizations. By 2007, he had 20. In Caslen’s office, he boldly requested 60 and guaranteed a national championship would result.
To which Caslen responded, “Done.”
Three championships later, it’s looking like a really smart decision.