Harvard Sends Eleven Fencers to NCAA Championships

Harvard Sends Eleven Fencers to NCAA Championships

Championship Information

Venue  Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Date March 23-26
Host Notre Dame
Stream ESPN3/Watch ESPN App
Notes Harvard Postseason Guide 


The Storyline

The Harvard fencing program's quest for its second national title begins Thursday, March 23 as 11 Crimson fencers head to Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2017 NCAA National Championships. Over the course of four days Harvard will compete at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis for individual and team crowns as well as All-America honors. The men will compete on the strip March 23-24 to open the competition with the women closing the event March 25-26.

Watch The Action
All the action from the semifinal and championship bouts will be streamed live on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app. A live feed of the semi-final and final bouts will be available on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN App. The semifinals and finals, along with other championships highlights will air on ESPNU at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 5. 

Well Qualified
Harvard sends double-digit fencers to the national championships. The field of 144 student-athletes includes five Crimson men and six Crimson women. Harvard qualified the maximum amount of fencers, two, in both sabre and foil divisions, two in women's epee and one in men's epee. Notre Dame and Columbia are sending the maximum (12) to the event, while Penn, Princeton, and Ohio State qualified 11. 

The Crimson women will be represented by seniors Adrienne Jarocki (sabre) and Hali Nelson (foil), junior MacKenzie Lawrence (foil), sophomores Gabby Tartakovsky (sabre), Sharon Ra (epee) and Shawn Wallace (epee). The men's squad will be represented by sophomores Albert Chien (epee) and  Eli Dershwitz (sabre) and freshmen Matthew Branman (foil), Erwin Cai (sabre) and George Haglund (foil). 

We Are The Champions
Harvard captured its first-ever team crown in 2006.  Over the years, nine Crimson fencers – five women, four men - have sparred their way to individual titles, with the most recent being sabre fencer Adrienne Jarocki (2016). Jarocki clinched her second individual title in 2016 after earning the distinction as a freshman in 2014. She is the sole member in Harvard fencing history to earn multiple individual titles.
Over their respective two days, the men and women will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. Each victory counts as one point towards the team total. The top-four finishers in each weapon will vie for individual championships with 15-touch semifinal bouts with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the non-advancing fencers tying for third. The closing rounds do not contribute to the team point's totals. The team title is awarded as a coed team.
Title Defense
After winning the 2014 and 2016 NCAA Individual Sabre Championship, senior Adrienne Jarocki looks to earn the crown for a third time.  Jarocki earned her first title as a freshman, going 18-5 with 108 recorded touched and a plus-53 scoring index. As a junior, Jarocki earned the title for a second time with a 19-4 mark and a +35 touch differential. She is the second women saber fencer to be named two-time champion and first ever for Harvard.  
Fourth Time's A Charm
Senior Adrienne Jarocki will take the strip at the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in her career. Jarocki seeks the title for a third time, and would be the first fencer to do so in NCAA and Harvard history.
Host Notre Dame
The 2017 NCAA Fencing Championships will be hosted by Notre Dame at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. This marks the fourth time in 27 years the Fighting Irish have hosted the national championship, holding hosting duties, in 1990, 1992, 1995, and 1998. 
Collecting Hardware
The Crimson collected a combined five medals at the 2017 NCAA Regional Tournament hosted by Yale March 12, including one gold, two silver, and two bronze. Dershwitz claimed gold on the men's side, while teammates Matthew Branman George Haglund and Albert Chien earned their spots on the podium with silver bronze and bronze medals, respectively. On the women's side, senior captain Adrienne Jarocki  clinched the silver medal for sabre.
Punching Their Ticket to Nationals
The qualification for the NCAA Championship is based on a formula comprising a 60 percent weight on regional performance and 40 percent regular-season meets. Regional champions for each weapon automatically advance, with remaining bids going to fencers based on performance and the region they compete in. Twenty-four spots in the epee, foil and sabre for both the men's and women's competitors will be distributed.
Poll Position
The Crimson's two squads have been mainstay's in the CollegeFencing360 national poll, and enter the NCAA Championships ranked eighth (men) and ninth (women) in the country. This marks the 13th-consecutive season that the men's squad has been ranked in the top-10 and the 14th-consecutive season for the women. Harvard has been ranked in every poll since 2005. 

Harvard's women's sabre squad, comprising of Adrienne Jarocki, Gabby Tartakovsky and Marta Lasota, recorded winning decisions in the first 10--duals of the season. Each of the three eclipsed the 40-win plateau, with Jarocki logging the best indicator at plus-248. Tartakovsky has recorded a plus-76 touch differential, while Lasota is at plus-91.
All-Ivy Honors
Seven members of the Crimson were distinguished with All-Ivy accolades. Eli Dershwitz, George Haglund, Adrienne Jarocki,  and Natalie Yang were named to the All-Ivy first team.  Marta Lasota, Sharon Ra, and Eric Zhao were selected to the second team.
Aye, Aye Captain
Seniors Adrienne Jarocki and Liana Yamin have been chosen by their teammates as the Harvard women's fencing captains for the 2016-17 season. The duo of Jarocki and Yamin will serve as the third pair of two-time captains that has been elected by their teammates in Harvard women's fencing history.
Senior Stephen Mageras and junior Eric Zhao have been chosen by their teammates as the Harvard men's fencing captains for the 2016-17 season.
Leading the Way
Head coach Peter Brand is in his 19th season at the helm for the Crimson, posting a winning record in each of the last 15 seasons under his watch. Harvard has won seven Ivy League Championships during his tenure, while also winning the 2006 National Championship. Brand owns a 243-76-1 record on the women's side and 195-87 mark with the men's team, and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard. He was named the 2015 Ivy League Men's Coach of the Year.