Though Penn fencing did not leave the NCAA Championships with a national title this weekend, four individual fencers captured titles of their own, as Penn earned eighth place overall to match last year’s finish.
Sophomore fencer Evan Prochniak, who competes in sabre, was crowned first team All-America. This was Penn’s first All-America selection since 2008 and first sabre to earn the honor since 1999.
Prochniak lost to the eventual NCAA champion in St. John’s Daryl Homer, 15-7, en route to third place overall and the coveted All-America honor.
Senior captain Jacob Wischnia, who competed in his last tournament for the Quakers, finished 10th overall in the epee division with 13 wins. Wischnia’s solid effort earned him the status of All-America honorable mention.
Finally, junior Vidur Kapur finished 12th overall in the foil division, also earning All-America honorable mention. This was Kapur’s second-straight honorable mention selection.
With three men earning All-America status, coach Andy Ma was proud of his team’s effort.
“We did better than last year, and when that happens you know you’re improving,” Ma said.
The Quakers had five fencers finish in the top twelve of their division, whereas last year they only had three.
On the women’s side, sophomore Amrit Bhinder fenced her way to All-America status on the last day of competition. She finished seventh overall in the epee division to earn second team All-America.
Before Bhinder, Penn had not had a first or second team female All-American since 2005.
Ma was very enthusiastic regarding his team’s performance, which included four All-Americans and an eighth place finish in a 30-team field.
“It says a lot about the program we have here at Penn,” Ma said. “The program still has a lot of potential to be even better and compete with the likes of Penn State and Notre Dame. But we are headed in the right direction after our team’s performance this weekend.”
Notre Dame and Penn State finished first and second, respectively.
In addition to Penn’s four All-Americans, junior Dominika Franciszkowicz and senior Danielle Kamis took 13th and 19th, respectively, in sabre. Franciszkowicz was just one place shy of earning All-America.
Freshman Gabby Foor also notched four wins in epee in her first NCAA appearance.
For the men, freshmen Michael Mills and Clifford Fishler both finished 20th.