Freshman Michael Raynis won the title-clinching bout for the Crimson Sunday (photo courtesy of IvyLeagueSports.com).
PRINCETON, N.J. – Typically it is veteran leadership that carries a team, but Sunday it was two Harvard underclassmen that came through for the Crimson. Trailing 13-12 in its final dual, the Harvard men's fencing team got two clutch wins from a sophomore and a freshman to top rival Yale, 14-13, and earned the right to be called Ivy League champion for the seventh time and first time since 2007.
The first big win came from sophomore Ben White in epee, who defeated Yale's Benjamin Mappin-Kasirer to even the match at 13-all. Then came a matchup that would decide the title: Harvard freshman Michael Raynis and Yale's Peter Cohen.
The final bout was even at four touches apiece with just 16 seconds left when Raynis scored on Cohen for the title-clinching win. Harvard's men's epee squad never lost during the two-day event, going 5-0 during the round-robin duals to lead the Crimson to a perfect 5-0 mark and the championship.
A total of six Harvard fencers earned all-league honors Sunday, including Raynis, who was named first team all-Ivy League in epee. Raynis went 12-3 over the weekend, second in the standings behind Yale's Cornelius Sanders who went 13-2. Sophomore Thomas Kolasa joined Raynis on the first team all-Ivy League list in the saber event, finishing 13-2 in the competition.
The Crimson defeated Brown, 22-5, No. 8 Columbia, 18-9, and got the close, 14-13 win over Yale to wrap up the competition. Harvard will next compete in the Beanpot Wednesday in Waltham, Mass.