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The Men’s and Women’s Varsity Fencing teams had their first tournament of the year, “The Big One” this past weekend hosted by Smith College. The traditional opening meet of the season brought a diverse field of competitors from more than 21 different schools, including several NCAA Division I and II opponents.

Individual competitions were held in six different events: men’s and women’s foil, épée, and sabre. Fencers competed in a round robin pool, the results of which were used to seed a single-elimination bracket. The MIT fencers had a strong showing, with two fencers finishing in the top three of their events, and five more top 8 finishes.

Women’s Team Captain Stephanie Shin ’10 led the way in Women’s Épée coming in 6th place out of 71 fencers in the event. Sophomore Kirsten S. Hessler ’12 finished in 10th, while Sophie M. Monahan ’11 finished in the top 32, coming in 20th.

The strongest individual performances of the day among the women came from Cordelia S. Link ’10, who took the bronze medal in Women’s Foil over 78 fencers. Jenna G. Caldwell ’11 finished in 10th, and Julia A. Hopkins ’12 and Lindley C. Graham ’10 made the top 32, finishing in 19th and 21st respectively.

Women’s Sabre had the strongest squad performance of the day, with three top 8 finishes. Molly A. Kozminsky ’12, Elena A. Tatarchenko ’11, and Annabeth Gellman ’13 came in 6th, 7th and 8th respectively out of 69 competitors. Laura A. Evans ’10 made it to the round of 32, finishing in 29th.

The Men’s Épée team faced stiff competition, with rookie Jackson Crane ’13 leading the way in 40th place and senior Javier J. Ordonez finishing in 62nd.

The men’s foil had a strong overall squad performance, with five top 32 finishers among 82 fencers. Sophomore Daniel Levine ’12 made it to the quarter finals before losing to the eventual gold medalist to end up in 7th place. Benjamin N. Nield ’12 and Richard C. LaGrandier ’11 finished in the top 16, at 12th and 14th respectively. Alexander E. “Sasha” Siy ’13 and Chrisantha J. “Chris” Perera ’12 made the round of 32, coming in at 26th and 32nd respectively.

Men’s Team Captain Rangarajan D. Nadadur ’10 captured a bronze medal in Men’s Sabre, recording the best finish for the men’s team by coming in 3rd place out of 76 fencers. Vinayak Ramesh ’11 made the round of 16 before falling, and Maximilian L. “Max” Brand ’11 and Isaac P. Businger ’11 took 37th and 39th respectively.

The team has its first team meet of the season in two weekends at Brown University where they will face several conference opponents.