SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In his first appearance the NCAA Fencing National Championship, MIT junior Joseph Rafidi (Los Angeles, Calif.) finished ninth in the epee competition on Friday. The lone Division III qualifier in a field of 24 participants, he recorded the Engineers' best epee performance since Keith Lichten '95 was the runner-up his senior year. In addition, Rafidi earned All-America honorable mention accolades, becoming the seventh fencer in program history to accomplish this feat and first since Spencer Sugimoto '08, who was 11th in foil at the 2006 championship.
Rafidi compiled a ledger of 13-10, falling one spot shy of earning All-America honors. En route to the program's sixth top-10 epee finish and 11th overall, he defeated foes from Brown, Columbia, Notre Dame, Penn, Penn State, Princeton, Ohio State, Stanford, UC-San Diego, and Yale. One of Rafidi's victories came against eventual champion Marco Canevari (Ohio State) while another was against semifinalist Edward Kelley (Princeton).
Following two days of action, MIT ranks 17 out of 21 squads as the women's portion, featuring senior Robin Shin (Brookline, Mass.) and freshman Mounica Paturu (Plainsboro, N.J.), will begin on Saturday, March 23.