Cadet Activities Update
(Updated Feb. 27, 2014; 3:35 PM)
Climbing Team: The West Point Climbing team traveled to Wallingford, Conn., and competed at Prime Climb gym against teams from RIT, Yale and Princeton Feb. 15.
The West Point Climbing team earned the overall win, while also placing first for the men and fifth for the women. In this second competition of the season, the team displayed a higher level of strategy in how they approached the competition and how to pace themselves.
Team cohesion was at a high, with team members coaching each other through routes and boulder problems. Interaction between teams demonstrated the inherently noncompetitive attitude of the climbing community, seen when members of different teams give each other advice. This was a reminder that only half the goal is winning. The other half is improving as a team and individually, and even in competition, the cadets are training.
Debate: Eight cadets traveled to the Yale University American Parliamentary Debate tournament Feb. 21-22. This tournament’s format required an experienced debater to pair with a novice debater and debate topics chosen by the organizers after a scant 15 minutes of preparation time. Debating teams from Duke, Stanford and the entire northeast, West Point split its rounds evenly and ended with a .500 winning percentage. Three separate Army teams defeated MIT’s lone entry in this tournament.
The West Point Boxing team traveled to Lock Haven University Feb. 15 to participate in the annual LHU Boxing Invitational.
Five West Point boxers brought home the gold. Class of 2015 Cadet Fa’aolataga Pulou (Co. E-4) won his bout by referee stoppage after pummeling his opponents rib cage with vicious right and left hooks. The ref decided his opponent had enough when he could no longer raise his arms to defend the onslaught. Class of 2016 Cadet Matthew Reyes (Co. I-1) won his inaugural bout by a first round knockout. The round started with Reyes establishing the range with his long, piston-like jab. After maneuvering his opponent to the corner, Reyes used a powerful straight right to knock him down. After the knockdown, the referee immediately stopped the bout.
Three plebes also won their bouts at the invitational. Class of 2017 Cadet Justin Doreck, making his boxing debut, defeated his opponent from the U.S. Naval Academy, with a crisp jab and sharp right in a typical Army-Navy bout. Class of 2017 Cadet Abylay Akhmetov used quick head movement and an explosive 1-2-1 combination to defeat his opponent from Shippensburg University. Class of 2017 Cadet Adam Kanavos, in a crowd-pleasing bout, outslugged his adversary from Lock Haven University.
Skeet and Trap:
The West Point Skeet and Trap team headed to Danbury, Conn., Feb. 23, to compete with the Pahquioque Rod and Gun Club in a semi-annual friendly rivalry that is always very special to the cadets and the Pahquioque Club members.
The morning consisted of two rounds of American Trap followed by two rounds of Handicap Trap (20-yard line) and a round of the club’s unique game of “high-speed” Wobble Trap, for a total of 125 targets scored.
After a great day of camaraderie and competition, the cadets edged out the Pahquioque Club with a score of 562 to 548. The top five shooters for West Point were Cadets Taylor Ferguson (117), Carolee Schwarzer (113), Jared VanCuren (112), Blake Rodenberger (111) and Mitchell Koellner (109).
The seasoned tradition with the Pahquioque Rod and Gun Club is always a great developmental experience for the cadets, and this season, they continued the West Point tradition of competing well while acting as leaders of character.
Ultimate: The West Point Club Ultimate team participated in the Boston Midnight Madness tournament Feb. 23.
The West Point team lacked its senior members due to 100th Night festivities, but provided a chance for the younger players to gain valuable game-time experience. The cadets, seeded third, began their first game shortly after midnight against Hunter, beating them 13-9.
West Point rolled past No. 2 seed Boston, 13-6, in the first upset of the night, then recorded a 13-7 win over Berklee.
At 3 a.m., the cadets faced an undefeated Hartford team, which is also a big competitor at college sectionals every year. The game went back and forth for the full time, with big plays for both teams. As the clock entered the final minutes, West Point was ahead by one with the disc.
On a critical possession, West Point scored the go-ahead point with 60 seconds left on the clock. The cadets emerged victorious with a 9-8 win over a tough opponent, and having just defeated the top seed they rolled through the final match against Roger Williams, 13-9, to win the tournament with an undefeated record.
This tourney differed from a typical Ultimate setup as teams played five men instead of the usual seven, due to the smaller field sizes playing indoors. The tournament was played round-robin against every other team with the winner decided by record at the end of the night.
The games also varied from a typical game: Instead of playing first to 15, games were played with a 50-minute running clock. The winning team was decided by the score at the end of time or whoever reached 13 first.
Men’s Team Handball: The West Point Men’s Team Handball competed in the North Carolina Blue Cup Feb. 15-16 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Black Team (Varsity) won its first three games by defeating collegiate teams from the University of Miami-Ohio, University of North Carolina and University of Virginia. The cadets first loss came against the Club National Championship team NYAC from New York City, which earned West Point a placement in the third-place game of the tournament.
Led by Class of 2015 Cadets Chris Gramling (Co. E-3) and Kyle Cachopa (Co. C-2), the team showed a lot of heart and determination but lost the tightly-contested third-place game to a strong Carolina Blue Club comprised of several current and former National Team players.
The West Point Gold (JV) team, led by Class of 2015 Cadet Nathaniel Greene (Co. F-3) and Class of 2017 Cadet Jalen Swett (Co. A-2), earned two wins against teams from Auburn and North Carolina, but lost two consecutive games against North Carolina and the Army Alumni Club. The Gold team ended the tournament with a loss against the North Carolina Collegiate Club (Varsity) by the score of 25-23, for a 6th place finish.
The Men’s Team Handball cadets will host the inaugural Capt. Scott Pace Memorial Invitational Tournament, Friday-Sunday, in honor of former West Point Team Handball player and Class of 2005 graduate Capt. Scott Patrick Pace. Pace was deployed in Afghanistan when he was killed in action June 6, 2012.