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Trip to Windy City Provides Challenge for Fencers

By Mark Hurst
Team Member

The men's and women's varsity fencing teams took a trip to Chicago over Independent Activities Period to compete in an invitational hosted by Northwestern University. A total of 17 teams were present at the event.

Women's foil, led by Katherine Fricks G and Sara Ontiveros '93, came home with a respectable 4-4 record for the trip. The University of California at San Diego, Northwestern, Air Force, and Lawrence College all fell to the lady blades, with help from veterans Ronke Olabisi '93, Heather Klaubert '94, and Yi Chen '95.

Newcomer, and Chicago native Kristine McCaffrey '96 was also a winner at Chicago. Certainly, the closest match this season was the women's narrow loss to Wayne State. Both bouts won and touches scored were equal (8-8, 54-54) between the two teams when a final sudden death bout was fenced.

The foil squad, led by Mike Johnson '93, fought hard but only took two victories. The victories came over Wayne State and Lawrence, 5-4 each. John Rodriguez '95 came home with the best record on the squad. Runako Godfrey '96 had the distinction of taking the sole foil victory against Notre Dame.

Epee, as the saying goes, was a game of inches. The epee squad, led by Kris Giesing '94, reached far but produced narrow 4-5 losses against the University of Illinois, Lawrence, and UCSD. MIT epee victories were chalked up against Northwestern, Cal State Long Beach, and the University of Chicago. Dean Christakos '96 and Henry Cohn '95 both came home with winning bouts under their belts, and star newcomer Keith Lichten '95 stole the show with a 17-12 record for the trip.

MIT sabre, consisting of Mark Hurst '94, Charles Baroud '93, Jin Choi '94, Rene Despinos '94, and Coach Jarek Koniusz, was hotter than ever. The sabre squad won nine out of its ten matches, losing only to Ohio State, 4-5. By far the most intense match this season was the one against nationally ranked Notre Dame, the last match of the tournament. Hurst and Baroud both took two bouts, bringing the score to 4-4,when Despinos stepped in. To make it dramatic, Despinos took the bout score to 4-4 before defeating his opponent 5-4. The sabre squad is now 16-4 in varsity competition.

The fencing team hosts a competition this Saturday, where it will face schools including Brown and the University of North Carolina.