Fencers compete at NEIFC

Engineers prepare for Regionals next week

Battling injuries, missing teammates and youth, the MIT Men’s and Women’s Fencing teams placed third overall in the combined results at this weekend’s New England Intercollegiate Fencing Championships (NEIFC) at Mount Holyoke College. The men’s three weapons combined for a fourth place finish in the 12-team field, while the Tech women were third in the final rankings of 15 women’s schools.

Topping the charts for MIT was the women’s sabre team, which only lost four bouts while taking first in the team competition for their weapon. Molly A. Kozminsky ’12 was a perfect 14-0 in the round-robin competition, while Robin S. Shin ’12 and Elena A. Tatarchenko ’11 each only lost two bouts. Women’s epee had a strong showing as well, fencing to a 30-20 record and a third place finish. Kristin D. Kuhn ’11 was brilliant, posting a 13-1 record, and Sophie M. Monahan ’11 posted an impressive 9-3 mark in her bouts. An undermanned women’s foil squad finished ninth overall, helped by Ana S. Escalante ’12, who chipped in with seven bout victories.

On the men’s side, the Tech epee squad finished with a 23-9 bout record, tied for second place with Sacred Heart University and Vassar College. It was only due to slight tie-breaking indicators that slotted the epee squad, with standouts Jackson T. Crane ’13 (10-1) and Joseph F. Rafidi ’14 (9-2), into fourth place overall.

Men’s foil took a solid third place finish, compiling a record of 23-8. Daniel S. Levine ’12 went 10-1 for the Engineers while Richard C. LaGrandier ’11 put together a 7-2 day. Men’s sabre won 13 bouts en route to an eighth place finish in the standings. Maximilian L. Brand ’11 went 6-5, and Alexis A. Hakimi ’13 won four bouts for the sabre squad.

The day-long event consisted of both the team competition and individual competition, based on qualifying from the team event. In the individual event, the best 12 fencers competed head-to-head in two rounds of pools for the title of best in their weapon.

It was no surprise that all three women’s sabre fencers reached the final bracket of the individual event. Kozminsky placed second overall in the competition, falling only to overall victor Kelly Miller of BU. Shin took fourth place with Tatarchenko just behind her in fifth.

Tech’s other best individual finish was in men’s epee, where Crane and Rafidi squared off for supremacy. Rafidi was the victor, taking fourth place while Crane finished fifth. MIT also had two foil fencers in the individual competition. Levine had an impressive fourth place finish, and LaGrandier placed ninth.

Rounding out the men’s qualifiers was Brand, who was able to grab ninth place in the sabre event. Tech’s only other women’s qualifier was Kuhn, who finished eleventh in the women’s epee individual competition.

The Tech fencers will have two weeks to prepare for NCAA Regional Competition. They will travel to Vassar College on March 13 to compete for spots at the National NCAA Championships at Ohio State.