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Penn freshman Evan Prochniak took a stab at a bid for this year’s 2010 Fencing World Championships.

And after tying for fifth place at the Junior Olympics in Memphis, Tenn., the fencer can say he succeeded.

Prochniak competed in the sabre division, battling a field of 157 competitors. His fifth-place finish secured him a spot on the 2010 U.S. Junior Fencing National Team.

As part of the team, he will participate in the 2010 World Championships, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan this April.

Prochniak’s coach Andy Ma, who is in his first season at the helm of the fencing team, traveled to Memphis to watch his team member compete. He was impressed with his young fencer’s performance.

“Some freshmen start their college careers slowly, but Evan is different,” he told Penn Athletics. “He is a smart kid and trains very hard to improve his fencing. It’s quite an accomplishment for him to make the team.”

With just his initial season nearly complete, the Hudson, N.H. native is a blazing 19-2 with the sabre, the best record of any Quaker for that weapon.

Prochniak and his teammates begin Ivy League Championship play Sunday when they travel to Cornell for the first round of the tournament.

The fencers will find some home field advantage in round two, which will be held in Philadelphia Feb. 28.

The men’s team will go into championships with an Ivy League title and an 11-1 record to defend.

The team’s lone loss came at the hands of a No. 1-ranked Penn State team.

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