Mids fly through blizzard to win wrestling title


April 17, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

After getting caught in a blizzard aboard a military flight, Navy's boxing team arrived just a couple of hours before the start of the National Championships at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Not the least bit frazzled by the ordeal, the Mids won their first national championship since 1987, outscoring runner-up Air Force, 35-33.

"It was really tough getting out there. They had to de-ice the plane twice in South Dakota and we finally arrived just before the semifinal on Friday and they were dehydrated," said Navy coach Jim McNally. "But they went out and did a heckuva job.

"Winning the national title for the first time in almost 10 years makes it a really big year for me because my wife is expecting triplets in September."

Nine Navy boxers made the trip and five of them made it to the finals with four winning crucial bouts at the tail end, including heavyweight and first year boxer Kico Eaton.

With Navy trailing the Air Force by three points going into the finals, 156-pounder Todd Alexander started the Mids' run to the gold by winning his third consecutive title. Alexander decisioned Penn State's Vince Calio in a rematch of the past two finals in that weight class.

"Navy has never had a four-time national champion, but hopefully Todd will do it next year," said McNally.

Sophomore Cy Mellet and Jon Bradley followed with Navy victories at 172 and 180 pounds, respectively, to set up a dramatic finish in the heavyweight division.

Outweighed by 35 pounds (230 to 195), Eaton took the must win in the finale over Chris Cullendine of the Air Force to deliver the national championship.

"Kico was really pumped and just totally outboxed their guy," said McNally. "He really wanted him bad. Kico is just an amazing athlete, which has helped him become a national champion in his first year at boxing."

The Mids' triumph will be shown on ESPN2 on April 28.

Lock Haven (Pa.) finished third behind Navy and the Air Force with 22 team points, while Penn State and host Reno tied for fourth with 11 points each.

Hit and run club

Old Mill's stellar outfielder Chuck Manns, who was All-County and All-Metro as a junior, has signed for a partial scholarship to the University of Maryland. Manns will also get an opportunity to make the Terps football team as a punter.

Named the top player in Maryland in Baseball America's preseason list of the nation's top high school players, and to the High School Baseball Recruiting and Scouting Guide All-Region team by Sports Biz, Manns was an All-County punter as a sophomore, but was injured much of the past two football seasons.

Manns will join several county products on the Terps baseball team, including North County grad Mike Wooden, who pitched Maryland to a 12-3 victory over No. 20 Virginia on Home Team Sports on Sunday evening. Wooden is 3-1 as a freshman.

Big showdown at Arundel at 3: 45 this afternoon as the No. 2 Wildcats (9-2) host the No. 1 Old Mill Patriots (9-0) with the expected pitching matchup of Arundel's Kurt Light (2-1), coming off a one-hitter over Broadneck, vs. Old Mill's T.J. Antonacci (4-0). Both teams are 7-0, with Arundel atop the North Division and Old Mill leading the South. . . . Old Mill took the first meeting between the two, 3-2, behind Mike Ziegler, but it was a non-league game. . . . Ziegler (4-0) hurled his second straight two-hitter over Southern (4-6) for a 5-0 win on Monday as the junior right-hander extended his scoreless-inning string to 13. . . . No. 12 Severna Park junior Darryl DeSalvo (2-1) matched No. 7 Chesapeake's returning All-County junior Jared Vogt (3-1) with 4 4TC

two-hitter Monday, but lost 3-2 on his own wild pitch that scored Chad Duncan, who had tripled to right-center with one out in the bottom of the seventh. . . . Both runs off Vogt, who struck out a dozen, were unearned as the Cougars (6-2) committed four errors. . . . Northeast committed what appears to be a county record 16 errors in a doubleheader loss to the Cougars, 15-6 and 6-4, on Friday as Vogt homered in each game. . . . Longtime Pasadena Saints youth coach Jerry Kerbe is coaching the Archbishop Spalding JV this spring. Kerbe was a standout hitter at Baltimore's Edmondson during the '60s.

Pub Date: 4/17/96

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