Penn Athletics will be inducting its Hall of Fame Class VIII this Saturday, May 5 at the Inn at Penn. As we prepare for the upcoming ceremony, we will be introducing each inductee over the next several days. Click here to find the original release on all the inductees, from February 22.
In 1953, the Penn men's fencing team earned the University's first NCAA national championship in any sport. That team featured Robert Parmacek, Frank Bartone and Jack Tori. Parmacek joined the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of Class III; Bartone was inducted as a member of Class IV. Tonight -- finally -- the third member of that team is inducted.
Tori joined the fencing program in 1949 and was an immediate contributor as the Quakers' top performer in the epee weapon. He helped the 1952 team go 8-2 in the regular season and tie for fourth place at the Eastern Intercollegiates. After that, his sixth-place performance at the NCAA Championships earned him second-team All-America recognition.
The 1953 season would prove to be even more special. The Quakers went 8-1 during the regular season, the only loss coming 15-12 to Navy. That was offset by a 14-13 win over defending NCAA champion Columbia. At the Eastern Intercollegiates, Tori recorded 11 of Penn's 25 epee wins as the Red and Blue won the team title in that weapon. Tori's individual crown at Easterns was highlighted by a victory over the defending champion, New York University's Herman Wallner. As a team, Penn placed second behind Navy at the Intercollegiates.
That set the stage for the NCAAs, where Penn was able to emerge victorious for its first team championship under Maestro Lajos Csiszar. Tori was the NCAA epee champion, winning 31 out of 33 bouts at the 1953 Championships, earning him his second All-America recognition in as many years.
"I recall that on many occasions I have remarked that my time on the Penn fencing team was among the most memorable of my life. Not only was the association with a group of fine, congenial fellow team members a pleasure, but our remarkable coach, Lajos Csiszar, provided the inspiration, training and guidance that led to our victories in competition for which I am being inducted into this institution. Truly he is an unforgettable individual. Also, it is with great regret that I note that my fellow team member and good friend Frank Bartone of Hall of Fame Class IV died last year and is not present to witness this occasion. He too will always be in our thoughts."