PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers will send four fencers to the 2011 NCAA Fencing Championships, which begin Thursday and run through Saturday in Columbus, Ohio on the campus of Ohio St. University.
Two of Penn's four fencers will be making their first appearance in the Championships, while a pair of upperclassmen are returning for another chance at All-America status. Senior Danielle Kamis, junior Dominika Franciszkowicz, sophomore Amrit Bhinder and freshman Gabby Foor make up the Quaker contingent. The four qualifiers are the most for the Red and Blue since 2009, when Kamis and Franciszkowicz were two of the four.
Kamis failed to automatically qualify for NCAA's in sabre but had such a strong body of work this season she received an at-large bid. Overall she won over 50 bouts and fenced her way to a second-team All-Ivy selection at this year's Ivy Championships. She has also appeared in each of the last three NCAA Championships. Fellow sabreist Dominika is making her third straight appearance with her top-six finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Last year she was an honorable mention All-America selection.
Bhinder and Foor will both be making their first trip to the NCAA Championships in epee. Bhinder has been one of Penn's most consistent fencers this year and the Regional was no different as she placed second overall, the highest finish among the four. She is also a two-time second-team All-Ivy selection. Foor, meanwhile, finished sixth in epee, and was just out of All-Ivy contention last month.
The Quakers are one of four Ivy League schools with at least nine fencers, men and women, traveling to the Championships. Princeton has the maximum of 12 fencers competing, while Harvard has nine and Columbia joins Penn with nine fencers. Penn State, the two-time defending national champions, will also send the maximum of 12.
The Championships take place March 24-27 in Columbus, Ohio, on the campus of Ohio State, with the women fencing on the first two days of competition. Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four fencers fence semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the losers being awarded a tie for third place. Absolute ties for the seeding will be broken as follows: for positions one through three, by a coin toss; for position four, by a fence-off.