Four Eli fencers qualify to head to NCAA Championships

Michael Pearce ’09, John Gurrieri ’10, Nathaniel Botwinick ’11 and Lidia Gocheva ’10 all qualified for the NCAA Championships with strong performances at this past Sunday’s NCAA Northeast Regional Championships.

NCAA bids are awarded through a formula that takes into account placement at Regionals as well as a season-long record. The Regionals, which were held in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., count for 40 percent of the fencers’ scores, while their overall regular-season records count for 60 percent.

Epeeist Michael Pearce ’09 finished highest of all the fencers, with a 6-3 record — good enough for a second place finish. Pearce had the same overall record as Harvard’s Teddy Sherrill, but a higher indicator of +6 (an aggregate of total touches) broke the tie.

With the tiebreak, Pearce secured his spot as the number-one qualifier in the Northeast region. Pearce will be looking to continue his successful string of appearances at the NCAA Championships, which included a fifth-place finish as a freshman, which earned him All-American honors.

Foilists Gurrieri and Botwinick followed up last week’s Little Iron Man Championship with fourth- and eighth-place finishes in the foil pool. Gurrieri ended the day with a 5-5 record, with a +2 indicator breaking a tie for fourth.

Gocheva finished in sixth place overall in the foil, with a 4-5 record and –2 indicator, recording 33 touches in the process.

The NCAA Championships take place March 13 at Ohio State University.

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