Fencers Take Home Five MedalsBy Lynn Wang
The MIT fencers began the season with a great showing at this Saturday’s New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference meet, otherwise known as “the Big One,” bringing home five medals.
This meet was one of the few individual competitions of the season. Fencers were initially placed in pools in which each athlete fences every other athlete in the pool. Each pool usually contains about six to eight fencers. The results are used to rank the fencers for a sequence of direct elimination bouts.
Sweeping the top two places, Women’s Foil proved themselves a powerhouse squad.
Team captain Suki M. Dorfman ’05, took the gold medal, while Women’s Foil squad leader Gemma L. Mendel ’06, won the silver. New to the team, Barrette A. Strickland ’08 gave a notable showing by finishing in the top 16.
Women’s Epee had some uncertainties after losing two key starters this year, but this Saturday’s competition indicated great potential in the young squad. Five of the women won at least one direct elimination bout to finish in the top 32.
Particularly noteworthy performances were given by Joanna W. Tong ’08, who won 4 out of her 5 pool bouts to rank ninth after the pools, and Christalee R. Bieber ’07, who defeated the top fencer from Boston College.
Victories won at the Big One revealed vast improvements achieved by the Women’s Sabre squad over last year. Where Drew A. Reese ’07, Kris M. Holton ’07, and Lynn H. Wang ’06 placed 15th, 26th, and 29th respectively in the Big One 2003, they placed 9th, 13th, and 7th in this year’s competition. Holton showed particularly fierce determination in a bout against Alison Manning of Dartmouth. At the halfway point of the bout, Holton was down 8-4, but she was able to regain her focus and come back to win 15-13.
Heading Men’s Epee, squad leader Sam N. Korb G left the competition with a silver medal. After three consecutive narrow wins that finished with scores of 15-14, the gold eluded Korb by just one touch.
Other outstanding bouts included one between Mike N. Beregovsky ’06 and Adam Moore of Tufts University. Moore established a 12-7 lead, but Beregovsky was able to come back with six successive touches and win 15-13.
Despite having a young squad, Men’s Sabre gave a strong performance at the Big One. Brian J. Quattrochi ’06 and Bill T. Walsh ’06 finished 10th and 13th, respectively. Rookies Raymond R. Wu ’08, Marti F. Bolivar ’08, and Matt Farrel ’08, showed great skill development from the few weeks that they had been fencing.
Men’s Foil finished with four fencers in the top 16. Men’s Team Captain Vincent Chen ’05, led the squad with a final ranking of 8th. Jason Chen ’07 followed in 9th, David Lee ’06 in 13th, and Spencer R. Sugimoto ’08 in 14th. Also remarkable is Lee’s development of his fencing in the past year. Not only did Lee’s final ranking improve by 17 places since last year’s competition, Lee also had an impressive victory against Mike Mello of Brandeis.