Men’s Fencing Takes Second at N.E. All-Division Championships

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Benjamin N. Nield ’12 counterattacks against his opponent in the foil competition. Nield finished 11-1 en route to helping the MIT foil squad place first. Nield himself finished in second place individually.
Gabriel Chan

The MIT men’s varsity fencing team took second place among 13 schools at the New England All Division Championship this past Sunday. The Engineers finished the day with 82 victories and 26 losses, just three bouts behind first-place Boston College. Despite finishing second in the three-weapon team competition, MIT finished first in two of the three squad competitions.

The competition, held at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., was held in two rounds. In the initial team round, each team fielded nine fencers, one for each of three positions per weapon (foil, épée, or saber). The top fencers from each position would then qualify for the individual competition in each weapon.

MIT turned in its strongest squad performance in the foil competition, capturing first place with a 30-6 record. Led by freshmen Benjamin N. Nield and Daniel S. Levine, who finished 11-1 and 10-2 respectively, and rounded out by sophomore Richard C. LaGrandier, who finished 9-3, the foil squad’s impressive performance can be seen as a sign of things to come from this young squad. During the team competition, Nield finished second among all fencers in his position and Levine finished first, a performance that qualified both for the individual competition. In the individual competition, both advanced to the second and final round of 6, and Nield received the silver medal while Levine finished fifth.

In the épée competition, Matt L. Gethers ’09 and captain Gabriel A. Chan ’09 led the squad to a very tight three-way first-place tie with an overall squad record of 26-10. Gethers, a recent Rhodes Scholar, finished 8-4, followed by Chan, who also finished 8-4. Carter A. Chang ’12 went 10-2 to place first in his position. All three of MIT’s épéeists qualified for the individual competition. Both Chan and Gethers advanced to the top 6 round with Gethers receiving the bronze medal and Chan finishing sixth.

MIT’s saber squad also posted a 26-10 record to finish in fourth place. Igor Kopylov ’09 notched a third place finish in his position with a 9-3 record, followed by Rangarajan D. Nadadur ’10, who tallied a 7-5 record to finish fourth. Maximilian L. Brand ’11, who ended the day with a 10-2 record, placed second. All three saberists qualified for the individual competition.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, MIT will take on some of the highest ranked teams in the nation at one of the oldest athletic competitions in the United States, the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championship, held this year at Brandeis University. The following weekend, the Engineers will each fight for an individual spot at the NCAA National Championship at the NCAA Northeast Regional qualifying meet to be held at MIT’s Johnson Athletic Center on Sunday, March 8.