The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Penn's Yale Cohen has enjoyed a phenomenal sophomore campaign. The foilist will be one of four Quakers to compete in the NCAA championships. (Theodore Schweitz/DP File Photo)

This week the eyes of the fencing world will turn to Parkside, Wisc., in anticipation of the NCAA men's and women's fencing championships to be held there, starting today. The Penn men's fencing team, which finished its regular season tied for the Ivy League title, will send four representatives to the tourney. The Quakers foilists, sophomore Yale Cohen and senior Yaron Roth, will try to build on the Red and Blue foil squad's already strong reputation. Earlier this season it captured the prestigious Little Ironman trophy -- awarded to the top foilists in the East --for winning the IFAs. Senior Charles Hamann and junior Scott Eriksen each will represent the epee unit at the championships. The men's sabre squad was the lone weapon with no representatives of both the men's and the women's team. "I feel that the four of us, or any of us on the team, since we're a strong team, have a good chance for individual or team honors," Eriksen said. The top 24 college fencers in the country are chosen at each weapon. The first round of the competition features all 24 in a round-robin style competition with five-touch bouts. Each school receives one point per win, and the men's and women's scores combine to determine the final winner. The top four fencers in each weapon advance and fence to determine the top in the country. These four comprise the first team All-American squad, the next four the second team, while the eighth through 12th receive an honorable mention. Penn hopes to improve on last year's ninth-place finish, when Penn State captured the overall trophy. "I definitely think we can do better [this year]," Penn coach Dave Micahnik said. Hamann netted second team All-American honors with a 6th-place finish last year. He slipped to a mere honorable mention last year. "I don't really feel pressure," Hamann said. "I'm going out there with a clear head and I'm very confident following the season." As only two fencers per team are allowed to go to the tournament for a given weapon, two qualified Penn fencers were unable to compete. Freshman foilist Jeffrey Breen and junior epeeist Jim Benson each statistically had good enough seasons to warrant consideration by the national selection committee, but had to wait behind their higher-profile teammates. "[Unfortunately] we couldn't get everyone in who deserved it," Micahnik said. Following three straight Ivy wins to begin the season, the Quakers suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Columbia leading to a three-way tie for first place atop the Ancient Eight. The team hopes to put some distance between themselves and the Ivy League field this week. "We definitely should have a strong finish," Hamann said. "We have a definite chance to beat last year's finish. Being the best Ivy is a reasonable goal for us."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.