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Fencing team captures first

The MIT women's fencing team charged to victory last Sunday, capturing first place in the New England championships. A tense moment came in the fourth round of the tournament when Tech (with 7 bouts won and 1 lost) came up against the then-undefeated Brown University.

Loud cheering from the Brown team turned to quiet despair as Tech's women plucked victory after victory from their grasp ending in an outstanding 4-0 MIT sweep.

"Brown came into this championship thinking that the battle for first was between them and MIT," Coach Iria Romano said. "We didn't."

A demoralized Brown limped to third place behind runner-up Harvard, but no one even approached the stellar 30-2 record of the lady blades from MIT. Congratulations to Kathryn Fricks '92, Sara Ontiveros '93, captain Felice Swapp '92 and Alice Chang G.

More tense moments were provided by captain Swapp in the varsity individual competition. In a final-round bout with a University of New Hampshire lefty who had defeated her in the team event, Swapp found herself behind 3-4 with only two seconds left to fence.

As soon as the word "fence" was out of the director's mouth, Swapp was off the mark charging at her opponent and landing her point on the target, bringing the score to 4-4. Swapp handily finished the bout and cruised to a fourth place finish.

Other individual honors go to second-place Chang, and eighth-place Ontiveros. In amazing coincidence, the MIT junior varsity team finished in the same positions as their varsity counterparts, with Shing Kong '94 in eighth, Ronke Olabisi '93 in fourth and Heather Klaubert '94 in second.

The fight for Northeast Regional champion happens this weekend in the Johnson Athletic Center. The MIT women's team was one of six from the New England and New York region to qualify for this prestigious event and will boast three women (Chang, Swapp and Ontiveros) in the individual competition on Sunday. The results will determine qualifiers for NCAA Nationals competition.

(Sara Ontiveros '93 is manager of the women's fencing team.)