Easton, Pa. - The #7 men's fencing team competed in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional on Saturday at Lafayette and advanced a minimum of five members of the team to the NCAA Championships. Final decisions on qualification and seeding at the Championships will come down on Tuesday.
Evan Prochniak led the qualifying men as he finished first out of 36 competitors in men's sabre. A First Team All-America last season, Prochniak appears to be rounding into top shape at the perfect time. Also qualifying from sabre was Michael Mills, who finished fifth. Though Prochniak was ranked eighth entering the fourth and final round, he won nine of his 11 bouts in the final pool to win the regional.
In foil, a pair of seniors will represent the Quakers for one last time on a national stage. Both Zane Grodman and Vidur Kapur advanced with Grodman coming in sixth while Kapur finished seventh out of 34. Each won five of their 11 bouts in the final round while Grodman finished just ahead of Kapur based on indicator score.
The final member of the men's fencing team that knows his fate is Rene Gannon-O'Gara. Though relatively unheralded as the #13 seed out of 33 fencers on Saturday, the freshman was a pleasant surprise with a fifth place finish in epee. O'Gara won six of his 11 bouts in the final pool to qualify while Clifford Fishler came in 11th in the event and will learn if he continues on later this week.
Teams can qualify a maximum of six members of their squad for the NCAA Championships, so if Fishler is selected to go, Penn will have filled its full allotment. The Championships begin March 22 and run through March 25 in Columbus, Ohio.