Fencing Takes Third Overall at New England Championships

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Battling injuries, missing teammates and youth, the MIT men's and women's fencing teams placed 3rd 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, who only lost four bouts while taking first in the team competition for their weapon. Molly Kozminsky was a perfect 14-0 in the round-robin competition, while Robin Shin and Elena Tartarchenko each only lost 2 bouts. Women's epee had a strong showing as well, fencing to a 30-20 record and a third place finish.  Kristin Kuhn was brilliant, posting a 13-1 record and Sophie Monahan posted an impressive 9-3 mark in her bouts. An undermanned women's foil squad finished 9th overall, helped by Ana Escalante, 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 tiebreaking indicators that slotted the epee squad, with standouts Jackson Crane(10-1) and Joseph Rafidi (9-2), into fourth place overall.

Men's foil took a solid third place finish, compiling a record of 23-8. Daniel Levine went 10-1 for the Engineers while Richard Legrandier put together a 7-2 day. Men's sabre won 13 bouts en route to an 8th place finish in the standings. Maximilian Brand went 6-5 and Alexis Hakimi 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 victory Kelly Miller of BU. Shin took fourth place with Tartarchenko 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 Legrandier 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 13th to compete for spots at the NCAA Championships at Ohio State.

Pictures from the New England Championships are now up on facebook.