Jacobson wins 2nd straight NCAA title

With a dominating and precise performance, Sada Jacobson ’04 defended her title and won the gold medal in the women’s saber at the 2002 NCAA Fencing Championships at Drew University, held from March 21 to 24. The Bulldogs tied for sixth place with Stanford in a field of 29 teams. Penn State University took first place.

“As far as a team, we did really well,” Jacobson said. “We’re not a fencing powerhouse and cannot recruit nearly as much as other schools.”

Each team competing in the Championships can send as many as 12 people. Nine Bulldogs qualified. The final rounds of each event consist of 24 competitors with the top four moving on to the semifinals.

The women’s squad had an outstanding performance throughout the weekend. In the saber, Jacobson’s title defense was complemented by a 13th place finish from Helen Liu ’02 in the field of 24.

Jacobson’s performance adds another title to an already distinguished fencing resume. Along with winning last year’s NCAA Championship, Jacobson earned a silver medal at the 2001 Junior World Championships. She was also a part of the U.S. squad that won the Senior World Championships in 2000. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world in the women’s saber for under-20s and 10th in the seniors category, Jacobson said that this year’s win was as tough as any.

“I was really nervous before this one,” Jacobson said. “But I always go out to win, and I wasn’t ready to give up the title.”

Jacobson faced the strongest competition possible in the final when she went up against Ohio State University’s Louise Bond-Williams. A freshman from Great Britain, Bond-Williams is currently ranked No. 3 in the world. The No. 1 ranked women’s saber in the under-20s is still in high school.

Jacobson defeated Bond-Williams 15-9.

“[Bond-Williams] was a major threat,” Jacobson said. “I was really happy with my performance because not only did I win but I felt like I really fenced well in the final bout.”

In the semis Jacobson, who was seeded first after the preliminary rounds, dispatched Temple’s Sakinah Shaahid, 15-13.

In the opening rounds, Jacobson separated herself from the field, as she won 95.7 percent of her bouts, recorded 22 victories and had a plus-78 indicators score (the difference between touches scored and touches received).

In the women’s foil, captain Zane Selkirk ’04 took 13th place as she won 47.8 percent of her bouts. Jennifer Joseph ’04 finished 16th. Notre Dame swept the top two spots as Alicja Kryczao and Andrea Ament finished first and second, respectively.

Erica Korb ’05 finished 14th for the Elis in the women’s epee. Notre Dame’s Kerry Walton defeated Penn State’s Stephanie Eim.

On the men’s side of the draw, Byron Igoe ’04 recorded the top finish for the Elis as he took 15th place in the saber. Igoe won nine bouts. Mitsuhiro Sudo ’02 took 18th. In a tightly contested final four, St. John’s Ivan Lee defended his title as he won the Gold Medal by defeating Wayne State’s Jakub Krochmalski.

Captain Cameron Hill ’02 finished 23rd in the epee. St. John’s Arpad Horvath defeated defending champion Soren Thompson of Princeton, 15-9, in the title bout.

In the men’s foil, Stephen Townley ’02 took 23rd. Penn State’s Nonpatat Panchan, who won the silver medal at the 2001 Championships, went a step higher on the podium as he won by a narrow margin, 15-13, in the title bout over Jon Tiomkin of St. John’s.

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Fang Chen
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