SAN ANTONIO – The University of Pennsylvania men’s fencing team opened the NCAA Combined Men’s and Women’s Fencing Championships with great showings in sabre and epee, putting the team in sixth place with 43 bout victories on Thursday. Each weapon group completed 15 bouts on the day, with another eight taking place tomorrow before the national semifinals and finals get underway. ESPN3.com will have live coverage tomorrow afternoon of the proceedings.
Of the six men’s qualifiers, three are well-positioned to potentially qualify for a spot in the top four of their weapon and have a chance at a national title. In sabre, junior Michael Mills triumphed in 12 of his 15 bouts, putting him in third place overall. Daryl Homer of St. John’s (14 wins) and Adrian Bak of Penn State (13 wins) lead the way, but Mills has a two-bout lead on William Spear of Columbia and Shaul Gordon of Penn State for the final qualifying spot. Senior Evan Prochniak is not far behind. The three-time All-American had nine wins on Thursday and could very well advance to the semifinals with a strong showing on Friday.
In men’s epee, freshman Ayyub Ibrahim leads the way for Penn and could also work his way into the final four on Friday. Harvard’s Peregrine Badger leads the weapon with 11 wins, but Ibrahim is one of five fencers with 10 wins. Though the score indicator is working against him, putting him in sixth currently, all Ibrahim needs is a few more wins to make it a moot point. Junior Clifford Fishler is 18th overall with six wins on Thursday.
The men’s foil duo of Leland Bernstein and Adam Elkassas each had three wins on Thursday and are 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
Penn State leads the way with 63 wins through one day of competition, followed by Princeton with 51. Harvard and Notre Dame are tied for third with 50. The Quakers are only two wins behind Stanford for fifth position. Following tomorrow’s action, the three qualifiers from the women’s team will take over this weekend, competing on Saturday and Sunday.
Download: 2013 Fencing - Day 1.pdf