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The walls of Weightman Gym housed a circus-like atmosphere last Saturday, with fencers of all ages eagerly awaiting their turns on the strip. These fencers all share a common bond -- they are all either current or former members of the Penn fencing team. At the annual Alumni Meet this past weekend, Penn graduates returned to campus to take on the current Red and Blue squad in foil, epee and sabre matches. These alumni included former All-Americans and National team members. "It's a great opportunity being able to fence alumni," men's captain Charles Hamann said. "It's a good chance for them to see how the program has developed. We take it seriously, but the most important thing is that we have fun, and that the alumni have fun." Indeed, fun was the theme of the day, with joking and even some good-natured, trash-talking jabs. "The alumni would say, 'Go easy on me' and 'Don't cheat', and we would say 'Well, don't use your wily ways,'" sophomore epeeist Kim Linton said with a laugh. "The whole meet was very friendly." Among the alumni competing was Jane Hall Carter, a six-time national team member who was recently selected as one of the top Ivy League fencers in the past 25 years. While Carter no longer fences competitively, she proved that she can still keep up with Penn's group of talented undergraduates. "She was incredible," women's captain Mindy Nguyen said. "She was literally running from one strip to the other. She had her two-year old daughter practically attached to her leg when she was fencing me." Despite her frenzied schedule, Carter still managed to go undefeated in men's saber while losing only once in women's foil and saber. "Fencing the guys, I'm feeling a little old," Carter said. "For some of these guys, I have been fencing longer than they were alive." Meanwhile, in the epee competition, Linton dueled with someone who knows her game inside and out -- her father. In what Nguyen calls "Kim's toughest bout all year," she defeated her father, 5-2. In between bouts and at the reception that followed, the undergraduates got plenty of opportunities to talk extensively with the alumni, many of whom were former teammates. Not only did alumni pass on valuable insights, but they got to reminisce about their golden days as Quakers -- back when they were captains, All-Americans, or just fencing afficiondos under coach Dave Micahnik. "There's always a great affection for the Penn program, for the coaches," said alumna Margo Szabunia, a former All-American and U.S. national medalist. "You see some of the older fencers and it makes you realize that fencing is something you can do for a long time." And most of the alumni had fenced for a long time under Micahnik. Micahnik has headed the program for 27 years and has won nearly 500 combined matches

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