In their first post-NCAA season competition of the year, the MIT women's and men's fencing teams fought their way to victory at the New England Fencing Championships, held Saturday at the Johnson Indoor Track. The women took second place, while the men earned third in a competition against 11 other schools.
The day started off with the Women's Team Championships, which featured foil, sabre, and épée competing concurrently. Though the Tech women were supposed to be in the midst of a rebuilding year after losing so many seniors, Captain Nancy Hua '07 led the team to a strong finish.
The Engineers faced their stiffest opposition from Brandeis University, who won first place, but defeated perennial powerhouses like Boston College and Tufts University.
Based on their performance in the team championships, Hua, Cordelia S. Link '10, Lindley C. Graham '10, and Stephanie H. Shin '10 all qualified for the Women's Individual Championships. Hua and Link placed second and third in foil, respectively, and Shin placed sixth in épée.
The male Engineers, who had proudly cheered for their women's team all day, were nearly as successful in the Men's Team Championships. Captained by épéeist Trevor T. Chang '07, they held their own against all but two of the the twelve teams present — Brandeis and BC.
Set back by injuries to two of their top fencers, foilist Spencer R. Sugimoto '08 and sabrist Igor Kopylov '09, the MIT men's team refused to lose heart. After grueling competition, they fenced their way to third place, marking a very strong performance for the Engineers.
The team also qualified Chang, Sugimoto, Kopylov, Sebastian Castro '08, Namit Setia '07, and Gabriel A. Chan '09 for the individual championships.
Chang led the Engineers with a secondplace victory in men's épée, while Sugimoto, hampered by an ankle injury sustained early in the team competition, recorded an impressive thirdplace finish in men's foil. Setia won fourth place in sabre, followed closely by Kopylov at sixth place, though he could not finish competing in the later rounds due to an injury.
Both fencing teams will compete in the season-ending Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championships this weekend in Princeton, NJ.