Engineers Make Annual Season Debut at The Big One

Junior Laphonchai Jirachuphun
Junior Laphonchai Jirachuphun

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – In its first action of the of the 2014-15 season, the MIT men's fencing team saw four athletes enter the top 10 at The Big One Invitational held at Smith College on Saturday. For the second year in a row sophomore Benjamin Lin (Beaverton, Ore.) tied for third place in sabre while senior squad mate Ehsan Izadmehr (Wayne, N.J.) had the best showing of his career as he captured sixth place. Junior Dinis Cheian (Chisinau, Moldova) was seventh in epee while freshman Tzer Wong (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) rounded out the Engineers in 10th place in the sabre rankings.

Lin cruised through pool play to the quarterfinals where he defeated Izadmehr, 15-6, before falling in the semifinals to the eventual champion by a 15-12 margin. Wong overpowered his foes in his pool and in the first two elimination rounds but lost 15-7 in the round of 16. Junior Laphonchai Jirachuphun (Chantaburi, Thailand) and sophomore Kyle Saleeby (Destin, Fla.) had personal bests as they claimed the 23rd and 49th spots while freshman Alejandro Cabrales Hernandez (Baldwin Park, Calif.) ranked 75th in his debut.

In epee action, Cheian went 5-1 in his pool and dismissed his next two opponents, 15-2 and 15-8, in the first two elimination rounds. He edged out his foe from Dartmouth, 15-14, but then lost, 15-7, in the quarterfinals. Sophomore Sam Judd (Wyckoff, N.J.) improved upon last year's finish by two spots, claiming 13th following a 4-1 ledger in his pool, 15-3 and 15-10 marks in the first two rounds, but his day ended with a 15-10 loss in the round of 16. Sophomore Matthew Cavuto (Skillman, N.J.) and freshman Alexander Andriatis (Hanover, N.J.) advanced to the round of 32, resulting in final rankings of 19th and 29th. Junior Giulio Gueltrini (Ravenna, Italy) came in 40th as classmate Leo Zhou (Hangzhou, China) and sophomore Marshall Craft (Charlotte, N.C.) turned in career-best placements of 51st and 59th.

Senior David Wyrobnik (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) led the foil team by securing 13th place. He posted a 5-1 total in his pool, 15-5 and 15-7 marks through the first two rounds, and then fell in the round of 16 by a 15-9 margin. Freshman Alberto Ancona (Boston, Mass.) went 4-2 in his pool en route to 34th overall while senior Jim Clark (Falls Church, Va.) and sophomore Israel Donato-Ridgley (Round Rock, Texas) surpassed previous outings to finish 55th and 59th. Sophomore David Dellal (New York, N.Y.) rounded out the squad by securing 60th place, one spot behind Donato-Ridgley.

Next up for MIT will be the first Northeast Fencing Conference competition of the year which the Engineers will host on Saturday, Nov. 15.