While most Penn students will be dreadfully anticipating post-break midterms and papers, the Penn men’s and women’s fencing teams have something else on their minds.
This week, an announcement of which Penn fencers have qualified for the NCAA Fencing Championships will be made. The announcement follows the NCAA Mid-Atlantic South Regional, which took place Saturday at Lafayette College.
A maximum of two fencers from each of the men’s and women’s teams may be chosen for a total of 12. This year, it seems feasible that up to 10 fencers will qualify.
In sabre, both junior Michael Mills and senior Evan Prochniak are almost guaranteed to advance for the men’s team. Mills finished second in the regional competition, while Prochniak placed third. Both have competed in the NCAA Championships every year since attending Penn. If Prochniak advances this year as well, this will be his fourth NCAA Championship appearance.
Both men’s and women’s epee teams could potentially send the maximum of two fencers to the Championships. For the men’s team, freshman Ayyub Ibrahim placed fifth and junior Clifford Fishler – who also competed in the Championships the last two years – came in sixth.
For the women’s team, senior Amrit Bhinder also finished sixth, while junior Gabby Foor finished eleventh. Both fencers advanced to the Championships two years ago, and Bhinder qualified last year as well.
While men’s epee’s qualifiers were the uncertain slots last year, foil is the question this year. Freshmen Leland Bernstein and Adam Elkassas, who placed seventh and fourteenth respectively in the regional competition, are potential qualifiers for men’s foil.
On the women’s side, sophomores Luona Wang and Sarah Parmacek – both of whom attended the Championships last year as freshmen – are also potential qualifiers. Wang finished fourth while Parmacek came in eighth.
Coach Andy Ma has overseen a rise in NCAA Championship qualifiers each year. His first year, Penn sent four men and four women. His second, Penn sent nine fencers – five men and four women. Last year, 10 fencers qualified – six men and four women.
The NCAA Fencing Championships will begin on March 21 in San Antonio, Tex.
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