Pictured: Freshman Michael Tom
Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– The Harvard men’s and women’s fencing teams qualified 12 fencers, the maximum, in the field of 144 for the 2010 NCAA Fencing Championships, which Harvard will host March 25-28. The Crimson will have two representatives in each weapon on the men’s and women’s sides.
Harvard’s 12 qualifiers put it in contention to claim the 2010 national team title. The Crimson clinched the program’s first national team crown in 2006. Notre Dame, the top-ranked team in the country, and Penn State, the No. 2 squad and the defending national champion, also qualified the maximum of 12 athletes for the field. St. John’s and Princeton were the only other schools to be represented by 12 competitors. Ohio State had 11 fencers qualify while Columbia and Penn earned eight qualifiers each.
Sophomore co-captain Noam Mills and freshman Felicia Sun qualified for the women’s epee competition. Mills, a native of Kfar Saba, Israel, was a first-team All-Ivy League selection this season and placed second at the NCAA Northeast Regionals. Sun garnered a sixth-place finish at the the regional meet.
Sophomore co-captain Caroline Vloka and rookie Elena Helgiu will be competing in the women’s sabre for Harvard. Vloka, a first-team All-Ivy honoree, claimed a silver medal at the Garret Penn State Open and finished second at the NCAA Northeast Regionals. Helgiu, a product of Wayne, N.J., placed 13th at the NCAA Northeast Regionals in her first year.
Shelby MacLeod and Artemisha Goldfeder will be fencing in the women’s foil. MacLeod, a sophomore out of Sturbridge, Mass., garnered All-Ivy first-team accolades after posting a 15-3 record at the Ivy League Championships. MacLeod finished the NCAA Northeast Regionals with a fourth-place finish. Goldfeder, a senior hailing from Rochester, N.Y., earned a 10th-place regional finish.
James Hawrot and Karl Harmenberg will be representing Harvard in the men’s epee. Hawrot placed first and Harmenberg earned third in the foil at the NCAA Northeast Regionals. Hawrot, a native of Barrington, R.I., and Harmenberg, a senior co-captain from Stockholm, Sweden, were second-team All-Ivy League choices this season.
Tommasso di Robilant and Hao Meng qualified for the men’s foil while Valentin Staller and Michael Tom will be competing in the men’s sabre. After placing second in the foil at the NCAA Northeast Regionals, di Robilant, who hails from Rome, Italy, qualified for the NCAA Fencing Championships in his first campaign. Meng, a junior out of Hoover, Ala., clinched a third-place finish at the NCAA Northeast Regionals.
Staller, a native of Old Field, N.Y., finished the NCAA Northeast Regionals in ninth and posted a 13-2 record at the Ivy League Championships to earn first-team All-Ivy honors. Staller also claimed a silver medal at the Garret Penn State Open in his first collegiate event. Tom, a rookie from Greenwich, Conn., concluded the NCAA Northeast Regionals with a seventh-place finish.
The 2010 NCAA Fencing Championships will be held at the Albert H. Gordon Indoor Track. The women’s competition will take place March 25-26, and the men’s events will be held March 27-28. For a complete schedule of events, click here. Purchase tickets here.