Two Fencers With Penn Ties Headed to Hall of Fame

U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame information

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2013, and two men with Penn ties have been elected. Cliff Bayer W'03 WG'03was elected as one of three in the Modern Era (1976-present), while Maestro Leonardo Terrone was the only member elected from the Standard Era (early American fencing-1935).

(With Terrone’s election into the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame, all three of Penn’s former coaches are now members. David Micahnik was inducted in 2008, while Maestro Lajos Csiszar was inducted several years ago.)

The U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will also include Larry Anastasi and Hans Halberstadt from the Era of Inequality (1936-75), while Buckie Leach and Iris Zimmermann will join Bayer as Modern Era electees. The entire group will be inducted on Saturday, June 29 during the Summer Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

The U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame is located inside the Museum of American Fencing in Shreveport, La.

Cliff Bayer, W'03 WG'03
At age 23, New York City native Cliff Bayer was already considered among the best Americans ever in fencing, a sport in which success has long been restricted to European nations.

“My main motivation has been (disproving) the belief that fencing is a European-dominated sport, that an American can’t compete,” he said. In May 1999, Bayer became the first American to earn a medal at a senior men's World Cup event, taking bronze in Espinho, Portugal. Three months later, in St. Petersburg, Russia, he became the first American to win a World Cup title. At that competition, he routed three-time world champion Sergei Golubitsky of Ukraine 15-6 in the quarterfinals before defeating 1995 world champion Dmitry Chevtchenko of Russia 10-5 in the final. Bayer recalls that the Russian crowd was so shocked by the result that, “I looked into the crowd and saw 500 dropped jaws.” Bayer had won another World Cup title earlier that year in Bonn, Germany, where the defending 1996 Olympic champion Alessandro Puccini of Italy was among his victims.

Bayer also earned a bronze medal at the 1997 Junior World Championships in Tenerife, Spain, and a gold medal at the 1997 Junior World Cup Tournament in Aix-en-Provence, France. Bayer was ranked the United States No. 1 men’s foil fencer for five straight years (1995-2000).

Bayer competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Entering the 2000 Summer Olympics, Bayer was ranked No. 8 in the world in foil. Bayer won his second-round match over Sobczak of Poland (15-9), but lost in the third round to Korea's Young-Ho Kim (14-15), the eventual gold medalist, and placed 10th.

Bayer won the U.S. national championship in 1995 while still a senior at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, becoming the youngest men's foil national champion ever, at the age of 17 -- an honor that he held until 2007. He won the U.S. national championship again in 1997, 1998, and 2000.

In 1997, Bayer was the NCAA foil champion while at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was enrolled in the Wharton School of Business. He also earned an MBA from Wharton. In 1996 Bayer was named U.S. Fencer of the Year, and in 1999 he was honored as the United States Olympic Committee's Male Athlete of the Month for May.

Cliff is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Fencing Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Leonardo Terrone
Leonardo Terrone was the fencing coach at the University of Pennsylvania for 39 years, from 1903-42, and was the founder of the Keystone FC and the Philadelphia Fencers Club. His success in the U.S. Nationals for both men andwomen show the command with which he worked in all weapons while he was also coaching full time at Penn.

Maestro Terrone was the coach who made Philadelphia a fencing center. In 1915, in the AFLA’s fourth-ever National Women's Foil Championships, thePhiladelphia women swept the medals with Miss Jessie Pyle taking the gold, Miss Edith Evans the silver, and Miss Dorothea Samuels (only 16 years old) the bronze. At the 1916 U.S. Women's Foil Championships, Miss Samuels took the silver medal.

Besides winning the Intercollegiate Fencing Association titles in foil in1913 and 1915, Chauncey Ryder McPherson and Harold Van Buskirk (both from Penn with Terrone) became U.S. fencing Olympians. McPherson was 1921 U.S.national champion in both men's epee and men's saber in 1921, while Van Buskirk was 1927 U.S. national champion in men's epee andcaptured five other U.S. national medals.Van Buskirk went on to become President of the AFLA/USFA and was inductedinto the Hall of Fame. Joseph Brooks Bloodgood Parker is another success story from Philadelphia as he made two U.S. Olympic Teams (1920, 1924) and wasinducted into the Hall of Fame. Bradford Fraley, 1920 Olympian, is another star U.S. fencer trained by Terrone at the Philadelphia Fencers Club. Fraleywas a member of the US saber team that took fifth at the 1920 Games. Under Terrone, the Philadelphia Fencers Club defeatedall New York teams in 1920 for the U.S. National Men's Saber Team crown. The 1921 U.S. Men's Saber Championships were a huge statement for Maestro Terrone, with two of his students on the medal stand (McPherson first, Joseph B. B. Parker second). McPherson also took the epee crown. J. Grier Bartol, also trained by Terrone, joined McPherson and Leo Nunes for the 1922 U.S. Men's Saber team title.

In Women's U.S. National foil events, Emily Sailer -- a student of Maestro Terrone -- took the silver medal in the first event, in 1912, while Mrs. William H. Dewar and Mrs. Max Biernbaum took first and second in 1913.