Fencer Werk takes third at NCAAs



Notre Dame may have won the NCAA team fencing championship, but Cory Werk ’06 had other ideas in the men’s individual foil.

Over spring break, the fencing teams traveled to Colorado for the 2003 NCAA Fencing Championships March 20 to 23. The Bulldogs placed 14th overall after standout performances from Werk, Sophie Jones ’03 and Erica Korb ’04.

Notre Dame won the team championship in a close victory over Penn State. The meet took place at the United States Air Force Academy.

Werk, the only men’s fencer representing Yale at the tournament, placed third in the men’s foil, defeating Notre Dame’s Ozren Debic in his final bout. While finishing high, Werk said he could have placed first.

“I was really very angry that I finished third, because I lost the deciding match on a technicality rather than a physical error,” Werk said.

Werk received a red card violation in his bout against Penn State’s Nonpatat Panchan, losing 15-12 and failing to advance to the finals. Panchan later won the men’s foil.

Werk and teammate Jones both said that the director called the match unfairly, paying more attention to the theatrics than watching the actual touches. Despite his disappointment with his finish, Werk was pleased with how he foiled at the tournament. Werk was named an All-American for his finish in Colorado.

Jones placed 12th in women’s sabre for the Bulldogs, defeating fencers from many of the top fencing schools in the country.

“I always enjoy the NCAA championships the best because the competition is so strong,” Jones said. “I find that I really step up my game and fence my best at this tournament.”

Alexis Jamal of Rutgers, to whom Jones fell earlier in the season, won the women’s sabre.

Korb, who competed in epee for Yale, performed strongly on the first day but fell on hard times the second day. Korb ended 17th. Teammate Justine Aw ’06, who competed in foil, took a surprisingly low 24th place.

“Justine [Aw] was just a little bit nervous since it was her first championship,” Jones said. “She is a great fencer, and we all thought she could have been right up there with the top foilests on any given day.”

The Bulldogs ended their season with three fencers making the All-Ivy teams. Werk made first team All-Ivy in foil with a 21-6 record, and Byron Igoe ’04 made second team after finishing the season 19-8. Daniel Senft ’03 culminated his Yale fencing career with a spot on the second All-Ivy team as well.

Werk also won the IFA Championships and placed second at the NCAA Northeast Regionals earlier in the season.

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