At New Englands, Fencing Victorious, Collects MedalsBy Suki Dorfman
MIT won its sixth consecutive New England Championship, last weekend, leaving second place Boston College behind by 24 bouts.
For the third year in a row, the women’s team won the crown, by the huge margin of fourteen bouts. The men’s team took second in their field, and each of the six individual squads placed. Thirteen of the eighteen starters qualified for the individual competition.
Held at the University of New Hampshire this year, the New England Championship is the culminating event of the fencing season. Eleven other schools joined MIT for the contest.
The “New Englands” is an annual tournament comprised of three separate events. First, the teams compete round-robin style for the awards for squads and for teams. The top fencers in this event move on to an individual competition. Alternates fence in a similar individual-oriented “second string” competition.
Women’s foil unstoppable
The women’s foil squad had MIT’s most outstanding performance for the day. Of the 26 bouts they fenced, they only lost one, easily winning Best Women’s Foil Squad. Second place UNH, which initially seemed a serious contender against the MIT women, could not take any wins against MIT.
Squad members Christine A. Yee ’03, Suki Dorfman ’05, and Gemma L. Mendel ’06 each qualified for the individual event with the top records for their positions. To finish the day, Dorfman and Mendel grabbed the first and second place medals in the individual competition after a three-way tiebreaker barrage. Yee was close behind in fourth. Alternate Cassie Huang ’06 supported her victorious squad and showed her skill in the second string competition.
Women’s epee came in second close behind victor and epee powerhouse Brown. Epeeists Lucy R. Mendel ’06, Rim Lue ’03, and Mika A. Tomczak ’06 took two of three bouts against the Brown University women. Mendel brought home a bronze medal from the individual tournament as well. In the second string competition, Michelle Naderman ’03 and first-year Lele Yu ’06 backed up the epeeists, finishing fourth and fifth.
In women’s sabre, Sasha R. Manoosingh ’03 and captain Priscilla del Castillo ’04 fenced well and earned places in the individual tournament, but the notable performance was by rookie Shauna Jin ’06. Jin completed the day with only two losses, a good finish for anyone but amazing fencing for a first-year. The best finish of the women’s sabre alternates was by Naimata Saucer ’05, who took fourth.
Sabre wins, Lee top alternate
The men’s sabre squad of Michael P. Pihulic ’04, Jason M. Levine ’03, and captain Anthony P. Reinen ’03, finished in first place Saturday with three losses. All three fenced in the individuals, and Levine won a bronze medal. In addition, freshman Bill T. Walsh came in second in the alternates’ round, proving the depth of the men’s sabre squad.
But it was David Lee ’06 of men’s foil who proved himself the most at UNH, finishing first of the men’s foil alternates. Lee started fencing this season, and has risen quickly to achieve this finish for his season. The young men’s foil squad of Vincent Chen ’05, Doug J. Quattrochi ’04 and Sam H. Kendig ’05 finished third, with Chen moving on to the individuals.
MIT men’s epee came in second, led by Samuel N. Korb ’05. Matt R. Levy ’04, and Mike N. Beregovsky ’06. Korb earned a bronze medal individually. Sophomore Rob Figuereido also fenced hard for MIT to capture fifth place in the second string competition.
This Saturday the MIT teams will challenge themselves at Boston College in the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championships, one of the most prestigious tournaments in college fencing. The following week, the fencers will travel to New York for the NCAA Regionals, an event in which individuals will have a chance to qualify for NCAA Division I Nationals in Colorado Springs.