Fencing Makes History with First-Ever IFA Six-Weapon Title

WALTHAM, Mass. – For the first time in the history of the six-weapon championship at the IFA Championships, the crown resides in West Philadelphia – squarely in the hands of the Red and Blue.

Penn won 145 bouts on Saturday at Brandeis University – nine more than second place Columbia – for its first combined team title since the advent of the championship in 1996.

That isn’t all, however …

The men’s three-weapon team, rolling into Waltham fresh off an Ivy League championship, added the IFA title to its ever-filling trophy case, outdistancing the competition by 14 bout wins for its first title since 1990. The win is Penn’s 10th overall.

In men’s sabre, Penn went back-to-back, adding the 2009 title to the won earned in 2008. The Quakers won 25 bouts to Columbia’s 20 for the win.

In epee, the Red and Blue tied with Harvard for first, each school winning 25 bouts. The co-championship gives Penn a piece of the hardware for the first time since 2001.

In women’s sabre, Penn shared the team title with Columbia as both teams won 28 bouts. The Quakers are repeat champions as they won in 2008.

Penn’s team performance at the event was truly remarkable, as the Quakers did not finish lower than second in any team competition.

The men’s foil team was one bout away from the top spot, trailingYale at the end of the meet, 24-23. The women’s foilists also were one bout behind at the end as Columbia’s 25 wins barely edged out Penn’s 24. In women’s epee, Penn could not hold on to the crown they captured in ’08 as Columbia won five more bouts.

Individually, freshman Alex Simmons won the gold medal in foil. After winning seven bouts in the preliminary portion of competition, He won four more bouts in the tournament part for the gold. In the final, he defeated Columbia’s Sherif Farrag, 15-14. Farrag was the top-seed in the bracket after winning nine bouts in the prelims.

Andrew Bielen won the silver medal in men’s sabre, while freshman Vidur Kapur (men’s foil) and sophomore Danielle Kamis (women’s sabre) each won bronze medals.

In preliminary individual action, all of which counted towards the team titles the Quakers are loading onto the bus back to Philly, Penn had many tremendous performances.

Freshman Dominika Franciskowicz went 10-1 in women’s sabre while Alexis Baran was 9-2 in the same weapon. Freshman Laura Paragano was 9-2 in foil and classmate Mia Howell was 9-1. Kristen Hughes was the top epee fencer for the women in opening action, winning nine of her 11 bouts.

Junior Jonathan Berkowsky was an undefeated 9-0 in men’s sabre to open the day while Bielen was 9-1. In foil, Vidur Kapur was 8-2 in foil to join his classmate Simmons in the tournament. Zane Grodman rounded out the rookies who had success, winning eight of his nine bouts. In epee, Jacob Wischnia was a perfect 10-0 while Ben Wieder was 9-1.

Penn is back on the strips Mar. 7 at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals.

Download: IFA2009 Results - Ind.pdf