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Four MIT Fencers Make Nationals

By Shao-Fei Moy

Four members of the men’s and women’s fencing team recently qualified for the Division I NCAA National Championships. Of the four fencers, only one had experience prior to attending MIT. This is the most qualifiers the team has had since coach Jarek Koniusz took the helm.

Brian Bower ’99 and Matt DuPlessie ’99 qualified for the sabre and epee respectively. On the women’s side, Nora Szasz ’99 and Aimee Wiltz ’99 will be participating in the nationals. Szasz is also a epee fencer while Wilts is a foil fencer.

Each of the four fencers had to be among the ten fencers that advanced into the final round of the NCAA regional championships to qualify for nationals. MIT’s region is the hardest in the country, but that did not discourage the fencers who have earned a great deal of respect in the fencing community for their performances. In the regionals, Bower placed seventh, DuPlessie placed ninth, Szasz placed second and Wiltz placed eighth.

Other MIT fencers who finished well in the NCAA regionals included eppe fencers Jessica G. Sandland ’99 (15th), Mike B. Krypel ’01 (13th) and Curtis Wade III (22nd). Evangelos L. Efstathiou ’00 finished 11th in the sabre competiton. In the foil competition Ben Vandiver ’00 placed 13th, Ali Ibrahim ’01 18th, Andre Van Horn ’01 16th, Dianne Allen ’01 22nd, Oriana Hunter ’99 36th, and Danielle Morse ’02 41st.

The NCAA Championship is being held at Brandeis University this Thursday through Sunday and will include the top 24 fencers per weapon in the country. The men’s events start on Thursday and the women’s begin Saturday.

This recent achievement is one many made by the fencing team this year. Both the men’s and women’s teams won the New England Championships. The Engineers also finished very respectably at the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championships. MIT challenged some of the top Division I NCAA schools, beating Harvard University, New York University, and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Evangelos Efstathiou contributed to the reporting of this story.