Army Women’s Boxing team wins first NCBA National Championship

By Maj. Richard Juten Department of Physical Education instructor

April 20th, 2017 | News, News and Features
Army West Point Women’s Boxing team won the National Championship title at the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) National Championships April 6-9 in Lawrenceburg, Ind. The team had seven boxers compete after earning first- or second-place finishes at the NCBA Regional Championships in March.  Courtesy Photos
During the championship fights, Class of 2019 Cadet Ejakhianaghe Obiomon (middle) won the individual National Championship title in the 165-pound weight division with a technical knockout, winning her first belt, and validating thousands of hours of training and sparring.

The Army West Point Women’s Boxing team won the National Championship title at the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) National Championships April 6-9 in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

This was the second year that the Army West Point Women’s Boxing team competed in the NCBA and the women represented the Academy well.

It is a rigorous journey for Army boxers to qualify to compete at the National Championships.

First the boxers fight at the West Point Brigade Boxing Open in order to earn a spot to compete at the NCBA Regional Conference Championships. Only the BBO champions may progress.

In order for individual boxers to qualify for the National Championship competition, they must place first or second in the Regional Championships.

On March 10, the Army West Point team entered seven fighters at separate weight classes in the NCBA Eastern Conference Regional championships. The team swept the competition with six regional champions and one second-place finisher, ultimately earning the Regional Championship team title.

The seven regional qualifiers from the Army Women’s Boxing team then traveled to Indiana to fight the top boxers in the West and Midwest conferences for the National Championship title.

The team was supported by their Army Men’s Boxing team brothers, as well as friends and family that traveled from all over the country to support the team.

The team fought their way through three consecutive days of boxing competition (quarterfinals, semifinals and the Championships).

Class of 2019 Cadet Briana Dorsey and Class of 2018 Cadet Richelle Radcliff lost their semifinal bouts by close split-decisions and earned third-place medals, while four women’s Army boxers progressed to the Championship round, which was two more female boxers than any university at the competition.

During the championship bouts, Class of 2019 Cadet Ejakhianaghe Obiomon won the individual National Championship title in the 165-pound weight division with a technical knockout, winning her first belt, and validating thousands of hours of training and sparring.

Her younger sister, Class of 2020 Cadet Ebakoliane Obiomon, earned second place at the 156-pound weight division in a grueling bout against the returning National Champion.

Class of 2018 Cadet Esther Nagila also got second place in the 119-pound weight division, after a riveting fight that ended in a decision for UC Berekley.

Class of 2020 Cadet Adaya Queen lost a close split-decision and earned the second-place medal in the 139-pound weight class.

Perhaps the sweetest victory of the competition occurred when the team was awarded the National Team Championship Trophy and realized that they finished a full eight points ahead of the Navy women’s team.

This was the first year that Plebe boxing (PE116) was fully integrated, and its effects on the Army Women’s Boxing program were significant.

Several team members decided they wanted to box after taking Plebe boxing, and 30 percent of the team learned the fundamentals of boxing by taking the course.

Remarkably, Queen and Ebakoliane Obiomon are two such plebe boxers that fought their way to the national championships and earned the “All-American” title with their second-place finishes.

As the fully integrated plebe boxing course continues to be a West Point graduation requirement, interest in boxing will continue to grow, and with it, the Army West Point Women’s Boxing team.

The team fully expects to remain highly competitive in the NCBA and hopes to win many more national championship titles in the future.