Eldeib earned his first Junior Olympics medal (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
PORTLAND, Ore. – Alexander Eldeib and Stephen Mageras of the No. 6 Harvard men's fencing team captured their first Junior Olympics medal this weekend as the Crimson freshmen took home gold and silver, respectively. The No. 3 Harvard women's fencing team was also represented at the event as sophomore Nina van Loon earned her spot on the U.S. Junior epee team.
Eldeib sat on top of the podium after posting a 5-1 record in pools. The 14th-seeded Burke, Va., local, drew a bye into the table of 256 in the ranking rounds. The epeeist defeated Vikram Aggarwal, 15-3, Cole Mallette, 15-9 and Gary north, 15-10, to reach the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, he upset seventh-ranked Nicholas Hanahan, 15-8, before downing fellow 14-seed Anton Piskovatskov, 15-8 to reach the gold medal bout where he faced Matthew McGrath. Eldeib went on to take home the gold with a 15-10 victory over McGrath.
Mageras also impressed at the Juniro Olympics as he fenced to an unbeaten 6-0 record in pool play to rank sixth headed into the medal table. After receiving a bye in the table of 256 the Darien, Conn., native downed Gianni Natale, 15-5, Nick Itkin, 15-4, and Andrew Cornman, 15-6, to reach the quarterfinals. Mageras upset the tables top seed, William Upbin, 15-8, to move onto the semis where he met and defeated George Haglund, 15-4. In the gold medal round, the foil fencer could not surpass Axel Kiefer, as Mageras fell, 15-9, to claim the silver.
Van Loon, who hails from Boulder, Colo., entered the ranking round ranked sixth after recording a perfect 6-0 mark in pools. The epeeist could not continue her winning momentum into elimination play, as she fell to Celine Shanosky, 15-10, in the round of 128. With her 65th-place finish overall, van Loon secured her spot on the U.S. Junior Epee Team.
Harvard returns to action Sunday, March 9 at the NCAA Northeast Regional at Wellesley College.