merchantfencingcarson

In his freshman year, sabre Julian Merchant recorded the most wins on the team at his position. 

Photo: Arabella Uhry / The Daily Pennsylvanian

As the rest of the country copes with naming the 45th president of the United States, Adam Green will have a peculiar task to deal with this weekend: figuring out how to get his sabres past the TSA.

On Friday, the Red and Blue send fencers to Milwaukee to compete in the November North American Cup. This weekend’s tournament marks the first major event on the United States Fencing Association’s national schedule.

Unlike other events on the Quaker’s schedule, the NAC is an individual event. Run by the national organization for competitive fencing in the United States, the event has been used, in conjunction with international World Cup events, to help select the United States national team and decide which fencers will receive Olympic berths.

Last year, when the first NAC was part of the Olympic qualification process, Penn had five students represent them in Kansas City, all of whom were men. Now-junior Jake Raynis and sophomore Justin Yoo represented Penn in men’s epee, while junior Harry McGinnis and the sophomore duo of Aaron Ahn and Raymond Chen represented men’s foil. This year, while the list of participants isn’t finalized, the Red and Blue will have at least one representative in men’s sabre: freshman Adam Green.

Coach Andy Ma was quick to acknowledge the difference between the team style format that the NCAA uses and the Olympic style format that is used at the November NAC.

“It’s a totally different format,” Ma said. “They only use the five touch-bout for the first round. Then they do the fifteen-touch bout, which is the Olympic format. It’s a total different format, [and] different mentality.

For Green, the difference of this weekend extends beyond the scoring format.

“Last week was my first week fencing on a team,” the freshman said. “I’ve been fencing for eight years, so I’m not new to the sport, but [team fencing] is definitely different than anything I’ve done before. In the individual events, it’s just you, and that can work both ways.

Green will take confidence off a strong performance in last weekend’s Elite Invitational. The Maryland native assisted the men’s sabre quad on its way to an undefeated performance at last weekend’s event.

Along with fellow freshman Connor Mills, Green led the men’s sabre squad with eight wins on the day.

While NACs are usually an event that only a few of Penn’s fencers will have on their schedule each year, there is no rest for the rest of Ma’s team this week.

“This week we’ll [focus on] more individual lessons,” the 2009 Ivy League-champion coach said. “We got feedback from last weekend. We know we need to work on. We’ll continue [working on] our advantages and work on our weaknesses.”

Although the NAC is an individual event, Green spoke about how being in a team environment will augment his preparation for the weekend.

“It’s the same sport, I’m gonna be doing the same stuff,” he said. “We all try to support each other for when we fence outside of NCAA competitions. You always feel like the teams behind you. Hopefully I can bring in results that I can be proud of, and that people back here on the team can be proud of.”

Based on an impressive debut last weekend, expect Green to bring in another stellar result that will make the Quakers more than proud.

That is, if he can get his sabre through airport security...

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.