#2: Mills Wins NCAA Fencing Championship

Recap | Penn Gazette | Daily Pennsylvanian

PHILADELPHIA - No. 2 on the countdown of Penn's 2012-13 Top 10 moments brought the University of Pennsylvania its first national title in six years. On March 22 in San Antonio, Michael Mills posted a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the national semifinal and then won decisively in the NCAA championship bout to bring home the men's sabre national title for Penn fencing.

The victory by Mills marked Penn's first national title since Wrestling's Matt Valenti won back-to-back national championships in 2006-07. Mills became the first Penn fencer to win a national title since 1997 and the first men’s sabre to win since the back-to-back titles of Paul Friedberg in 1980 and 1981.

A series of 23 five-touch bouts determined everyone’s position within each weapon group, then the top four of each group advanced to the national semifinals. For Mills, 17 wins in the round-robin competition put him third overall in men’s sabre, good enough to meet Penn State’s Adrian Bak in the semifinals. Another Nittany Lion, Shaul Gordon, would meet the top seed Daryl Homer of St. John’s in the other semi.

After a stunning upset put Gordon into the final with a 15-14 win over Homer, Mills rallied from a 14-12 deficit to storm back and defeat Bak by the same score, 15-14. In the championship, the advantages Mills had in height and reach more than made up for the quickness of Gordon, as he scored nine touches in a row en route to a 15-9 victory.

The 2012-13 Penn Top 10 list was selected by members of the athletic department. But here is your chance to weigh in. Was this event ranked too high or too low? Who should be No. 1? Tell us what you think on Twitter with #PennTop10 or give us your thoughts on Facebook.

2012-13 Penn Top 10
No. 1 - July 17
No. 2 - Mills Wins NCAA Fencing Championship
No. 3 - Softball Claims Ivy Title, Goes to NCAAs
No. 4 - Women's Lacrosse Clinches Ivy Title with OT Win Over Princeton
No. 5 - Women's Basketball Postseason Buzzer Beater
No. 6 - Gymnastics Wins ECAC Title
No. 7 - Wrestling Upends #21 Lehigh, 24-12
No. 8 - Sprint Football Thriller(s)
No. 9 - Historic Basketball Comebacks
No. 10 - Men's Lacrosse Rolls Past #14 Duke, 14-9