David Xu has taken up the sport of wheelchair fencing under Penn assistant coach Mickey Zeljkovic and is already considering competing in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Both the men’s and women’s squads swept the competition of Stevens Tech, MIT, Boston College and Brandeis.
Midway through the season, Penn men’s and women’s fencing seemed to have defined their statuses at the Philadelphia Invitational, held at Temple Saturday, as they went 6-0 and 4-2 on the day, respectively.
Sophomore year in high school, Mills began traveling 45 minutes into Manhattan in order to practice inside the biggest club in the city – the Fencers Club – with the Peter Westbrook Foundation, a nonprofit which mostly works with inner city youth.
Despite losing to the Nittany Lions, both the men and women were able to register victories over fellow guests Duke, Haverford and North Carolina in their first action of the semester.
The Invitational promises tough competition for fencing as the Quakers take on a handful of teams — in addition to powerhouse Penn State — in the first in a long string of dual meets.
The region is the lifeblood of both Penn fencing and the school’s student body, as fencing has historically been most popular in the Northeast.
Penn women’s fencing consists only of 14 members, four on the foil squad. With the top three competing in team competitions, every person really matters.
The men finished their day in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., undefeated, easily beating North Carolina, Vassar, Sacred Heart and NYU. The women’s sabre team lost to Temple, 5-4, while the epee team beat the Owls, 5-4.
Penn hopes to have a strong start in its first regular season tournament as they travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for the Vassar Invitational.
As one of just three seniors on the squad, captain Evan Prochniak has stepped up to assume a leadership role on the men’s fencing team.
The University is currently renovating the nearly century-old Hutchinson Gym, long-time home of practice facilities for the gymnastics, fencing, rowing and wrestling teams.
Penn’s sophomore sabre, who finished 16th at last weekend’s NCAA Fencing Championships in Columbus, Ohio, was introduced to the sport by his father, Robert, an All-Ivy fencer at Columbia.
In her debut appearance at the NCAA Championships, freshman Lunoa Wang became Penn’s first women’s fencer to appear in a championship bout since Jane Hall in 1986.
Though seniors Zane Grodman and Vidur Kapur did not win an Ivy title this year — nor any in coach Andy Ma’s three-year tenure — they helped the team come together during a tumultuous period, leaving Ma in excellent position for future seasons.
Men’s and women’s fencing teams took on a draining NCAA Regional Tournament Saturday, but came out with 10 fencers headed to the NCAA Championships.
This year, only the men repeated their success, securing the number one spot, while the women came in fourth out of the 18 competing teams.
Come Sunday, both the men’s and women’s squads will wipe away any memories of the Ivy Championships and begin preparations for the NCAA Championships with a trip to New York for the U.S. Collegiate Weapon Squad Championships.
Dave Micahnik had an effect on Penn fencing: 722 career wins, 22 Ivy titles. Both his 1981 men’s team and his 1986 women’s team won the national championship.
After suffering a boxing injury while in the Navy, Randy LaMaster turned to fencing as an alternative combat sport. What started as a hobby soon became a career for the current assistant coach of Penn’s fencing team.