The fencing team grabbed the 12th spot in the NCAA Championships after going through a tough four-day tournament, with three fencers being named All-Americans.
Foilist and captain Shiv Kachru ’12, epeeist Peter Cohen ’14, saberist Nathaniel Benzimra ’13, as well as foilist Lauren Miller ’15 from the women’s team traveled to Ohio and earned a total of 50 points, repeating the rank they earned last season.
Miller’s seventh-place individual finish made her an All-American in her first NCAA championship.
“I never would have believed I could be an All-American fencer my freshman year,” Miller said.
She won 15 of her 23 matches, including contess against fencers from this year’s champion Ohio State and archrival Harvard in her fourth and thirteenth match, respectively.
“I have known most of the fencers that I faced since high school, and it was interesting to see how they have adapted to college fencing,” Miller added.
With a percentage of 0.652, she contributed 15 points to the Bulldogs’ side despite having to play with an injury she incurred several weeks ago. She had to skip the United States Collegiate Squad Championships last month and focused on qualifying for the NCAA championships by taking ninth place in the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship on March 11.
Whereas members of the women’s team in two different weapons qualified for last year’s championship, nly women’s foil represented the Elis this year, taking thirteenth place overall thanks to Miller’s efforts.
However, the men’s team had all three weapons competing. Kachru and Benzimra each took the All-American honor for their weapons.
As the grand finale of his college fencing career, Kachru posted the team’s highest finish, seventh place, and contributed significantly to the Bulldogs’ final standing. He started off strong on the first day with five consecutive wins, leaving him in fourth place. But he allowed himself to slip three places on Sunday with 14 victories overall and a 0.609 in percentage.
“Since it was my last match, I was more relaxed and wanted more fun,” Kachru said. “I was disappointed with my second day’s result, but I am happy with what turned out,” he said.
Considering the fact that he finished in the twenty-first spot last season, he had every reason to be satisfied with the results.
This year’s Second-Team All Ivy Cohen slipped 14 notches from last year’s third place finish with nine wins and a 0.391 percentage. Although he struggled on the first day, he rebounded on the second day, finishing in seventeenth place.
“The second day was a chance for me to improve after a tough time on the first day, which I was just not fencing well,” Cohen said. “In the end, I did not do as well as I would have liked but was happy with the way that I bounced back from my poor result on the first day,” Cohen said.
In saber, Benzimra qualified for the first time in the NCAA after taking fifth place at the Northeast Regional Championship. He took twelfth place in the tournament.
The host Ohio State ended up winning the championship, trailed by Princeton with a 21-point gap.
Kachru said the Tigers invest hugely in their fencing program.
“They have three coaches, one in each weapon,” Kachru said. “It is always a draw for stronger fencers to be recruited since it [Princeton] already has many strong fencers, which keep the ball rolling,” he added.
The Elis have now officially completed their winter season.
Kachru said it was a good season despite the team’s falling short in achieving its goal of the Ivy title. He added he is very satisfied with how young fencers like foilist Sam Broughton ’15 and Cohen are stepping up.
Miller said many of the fencers will continue training consistently at their respective clubs during the summer.