WALTHAM, Mass. – The No. 6 Harvard women's fencing team completed competition at the NCAA Northeast Regionals tonight, March 11, hosted by Brandeis. Of the nine fencers sent to represent the Crimson, four finished within the top ten and freshman Saanchi Kukadia claimed gold with her first-place finish in epee.
The underclassmen ruled the strip in their first NCAA appearances for Harvard in the epee division. Kukadia placed first after posting a 9-2 record and plus-19 touch differential in the final round. After a bye in the opening pool, Kukadia registered 4-2 marks in rounds two and three with plus-six and plus-11 touch variances, respectively. With a resounding 17-6 overall record and plus-36 touch differential, Kukadia clinched the coveted gold medal.
Freshman Cindy Gao dominated the strip in women's epee as well, earning a sixth-place finish. Gao too earned a bye in the first round and then took down competitors from six other schools with a 5-1 record and plus-12 touch differential in the second round. Advancing to the next round, Gao posted identical marks to the previous pools, before recording a final 17-6 overall record and plus-26 touch differential to claim sixth place.
The sabre division saw Gabrielle Tartakovsky earn a fourth-place finish where the junior posted 4-2 records and plus-11 touch differentials in her first two rounds of competition. Advancing to the final pool, Tartakovsky tallied a 7-4 mark at plus-15 to seal the fourth-place victory. Marta Lasota finished closely behind Tartakovsky at fifth place in sabre. Lasota kicked off the tournament notching a perfect opening round at 6-0 and plus-11. The junior finished competition with a 16-7 overall record to claim fifth.
Liana Henderson-Semel, MacKenzie Lawrence and Natalie Yang saw action in the foil category for the Crimson. Senior co-captain Lawrence posted an unblemished 6-0 mark and plus-11 touch variance in her opening round, advancing to the final round where she tallied two wins.
The NCAA will release the names of the student-athletes advancing to the NCAA Championships on Tuesday, March 13. Those who qualify will prepare for the NCAA Championships at Penn State on March 21.