February 26, 2008

Men's Fencing Places Ninth at IFA Championships

Feb. 26, 2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - This past weekend, the MIT men's fencing team competed in the IFA Championship, the oldest collegiate championship in the country. The Engineers finished ninth out of 11 teams as the epee team led the charge with an eighth-place finish, followed by foil (ninth) and sabre (10th). Igor Kopylov was the lone Division III recipient of the Georges L. Cointe Award, which is given to an individual who excels in high-level competition with excellence in sportsmanship. He is MIT's second consecutive winner of this award and third overall as Trevor Chang was honored last year and Guy Pommares was chosen in 1969-70.

The Cointe Award was created in 1962 to honor the memory of the longtime coach of Cornell University's team, Georges L. Cointe (1899-1961). The presentation of the trophy is made annually to the male and female fencer at the IFA Championships who best demonstrates the qualities of sportsmanship. The selection is made by the coaches of the member teams from among the fencers nominated by the competitors. The criteria include: superior fencing skills; well thought out and executed actions; showing a "will to win" through initiative, determination, drive, and aggressiveness; being courteous and gracious towards opponents and officials; knowing the rules and accepting officials' decisions; and is an example for others to follow.

Kopylov finished 11th in the individual sabre competition, falling to the eventual runner-up, Alex Diacou (Columbia University), 15-9. In the top qualifying pool, he placed fourth with a ledger of 6-4. Maximilian Brand claimed ninth place (2-8) in the "B" pool while Matthew Farrell took 11th (1-9) in the "C" pool.

Spencer Sugimoto led the charge for the foil team as he ranked 13th overall and eighth in the "A" pool with a record of 4-6. Sebastian Castro and Richard LaGrandier finished 10th and 11th, respectively, with identical marks of 1-4. In the "C" pool, Benjamin Switala went 2-8 en route to a 10th-place finish.

In the epee "C" pool, Jeremy Hurwitz placed seventh with a ledger of 4-6. Gabriel Chan posted a 5-5 record en route to an eighth-place ranking in the "B" pool while Matt Gethers finished 10th in the top tier with a total of 2-8.

The field included Boston College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Vassar College and Yale University.