Nineteen Columbia fencers fought in Wellesley, Mass., on Sunday to compete in the NCAA Northeast Regionals. The NCAA will release the official scores of the competition on Tuesday afternoon. While consideration of individual fencers’ power rankings and season strength factors will be the final determinant in who advances, 10 Columbia fencers placed within the qualifying standards to move on to the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, next week.
Sophomore Jake Hoyle led the Light Blue men with a bronze in epee. Sophomore foilists Adam Mathieu and Harry Bergman took fifth and sixth place, respectively, to advance two more fencers for the Lions. In saber, sophomore Geoffrey Loss led the way with a fourth-place finish, followed by junior Will Spear at sixth and first-year Chris Ahn at seventh.
Though junior Nzingha Prescod and sophomore Margaret Lu were absent, competing in Italy, all three qualifying foilists from the women’s team were able to post strong finishes for the Light Blue. Sophomore Jackie Dubrovich, the silver medalist at last year’s NCAA Championships, placed fifth in foil, with first-year Sarah Taffel just missing the qualifying mark at 10th place. The leader of Columbia’s women foilists, however, was first-year Jessie Laffey, who took third place. First-year épéeist Mason Speta also performed well, posting a sixth-place finish, while sophomore saberist Sarah Yee, while originally placing 11th, was bumped to eighth due to her high power ranking.
Head coach Michael Aufrichtig said the team looked tired after a long day of bouts, but said he was impressed by its performance nonetheless.
“It’s one of the hardest competitions of the season, and our athletes were able to pull through again,” Aufrichtig said.
As these standings are still unofficial until Tuesday, alterations may be made in congruence with the NCAA’s official postings, and the Lions may see their number of qualifiers for the NCAA Championships fluctuate.