Women's Fencing Wins IFA Championships; Men Finish Second

NEW YORK – A long day of fencing at the Intercollegiate Fencing Association (IFA) Championships proved fruitful for Penn on Sunday as the Red and Blue finished second in the six-weapon team competition and took home at least a share of four team competition gold medals, highlighted by the women’s three-weapon title. The win by the ladies was the first since 2004. Other team titles for the Quakers Sunday were men’s sabre, women’s sabre (a tie with Harvard), and women’s epee. The women’s epee gold medal is the first in school history. The men’s sabre squad had not won the gold at IFAs since 1990. The women’s sabre team last finished first in 2004.

Individually, Penn fencers picked up where there respective teams left off. Quaker fencers won four medals and had a total of eight fencers finish in the top eight in their weapon. In all, 13 Penn fencers advanced from team competition to the final, 16-fencer tournaments for each weapon.

Ron Berkowsky won his third gold medal in men’s foil, defeating Kurt Getz of Columbia, 15-13, in the gold medal bout. Alex Salsman finished fourth in foil in his first appearance at the meet.

The women’s team was represented with two silver medal finishes. Freshman Danielle Kamis continued her impressive rookie campaign for Penn with a silver in sabre. She was defeated by Brown’s Randy Alevi, 15-12, in the final bout. Her march to the medal stand included three wins in the individual tournament, including 15-13 and 15-14 wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Kathryn Anthony won the silver medal in women’s epee. She was the number one seed in epee after qualifying, and lived up to that seeding until the finals, where she fell to Princeton’s Jasit Bhinder.

The final medal for the Quakers was earned by Matt Kolasa in men’s sabre, who picked up the bronze medal. He qualified for the final 16 in the 14th position, and fenced his was to the semifinals before he lost to eventual champion Jeff Spear of Columbia. In the bronze medal match, he defeated another Lion fencer, Alex Rudnicki, 15-2.

Next Saturday, Penn heads to the NCAA Regionals in Madison, N.J.

Download: IFA2008 Results - Ind.pdf