Fencing builds on successful season at Championships

Continuing its strong performance this season, the Dartmouth club fencing team performed well at the New England Club Championships on Saturday. The men’s team tied for second place with the University of Massachusetts, while the women’s team tied for fifth place with Mount Holyoke College.

The competition was divided into six sections, including men’s and women’s divisions for foil, saber and epee competitors.

The men’s epee group won its section, following up its first-place performance at the Northeastern Fencing Conference meet last month. The squad which includes members David Seliger ’12, Scott Brookes ’14 and Peter Horak ’14 won the event for the second consecutive year.

The men’s epee team performs at about the same skill level as would be expected from a varsity squad, captain Tan Chen ’11 said. The team entered the competition, however, with a mindset of not taking any win for granted, Seliger said.

“From our first match in the first round, all of us shut down the competition,” he said. “We rode that wave to the very last round.”

The men’s epee squad traditionally headlines the team and performs at a higher skill level, according to Chen, a member of the men’s foil squad.

“Other [Dartmouth] squads are more developmental, and will continue trying to build conditioning and skills and technique,” he said.

The men’s foil squad finished in fourth place, one position lower than its performance at the competition last year. The men’s saber squad placed fifth, the women’s epee squad placed sixth, the women’s foil squad placed third and the women’s saber squad placed seventh.

Unlike in its previous meets this season where the team has faced both club and varsity competition Dartmouth only faced other club teams at the Championships.

Seliger said the men’s team’s closest competition at the meet came from Tufts University, which will graduate a large number of its athletes after this season. Both Dartmouth and the University of New Hampshire have relatively young and strong teams, he said.

“Just like with last year’s [Championships], we faced off against Tufts in the final round with the gold medal match going back and forth, until we were able to pull out a win,” Seliger said of the men’s epee competition.

Women’s captain Stephanie Han ’11 said the women’s team’s stiffest competition came from UMass and UNH.

Han is a former member of The Dartmouth Senior Staff.

Han said she was particularly proud of the women’s epee squad, which includes two freshman athletes.

Gaby Stern ’14 placed first and Han placed fourth in the women’s foil event.

“It was a good meet overall it was a really great showing for the [freshmen] especially,” she said. “They did well and I’m excited to see how they develop over the next couple years.”

The fencing team will next compete at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference on Sunday, and will conclude its season in April with the Club Nationals competition in Chicago, Ill.

“Club nationals are the biggest time to shine,” Han said. “It’s a national tournament and tons of people show up.”

Seliger said the men’s epee team will continue the strategy it has followed all season as it enters the final stretch, fighting hard for each match regardless of its opposition.

“I’d like to say that we might be paving the way for a New England club epee dynasty,” he said.

Top Stories