Although the fencing season only truly gets underway late in the fall, for top fencing schools, it starts in June and July at the USA Fencing National Championships.
It’s the first big tournament for incoming first-years, and their performances can offer a glimpse into the sort of impact they can make in their respective rookie seasons—which, in fencing, can be significant.
Lena Johnson and James Sands were the top Lions rookies at the tournament this year. Johnson won the bronze in Division I women’s sabre, while Sands was first in junior men’s foil. First-year Gabe Canaux took third in junior men’s épée as well.
Older Light Blue fencers also had notable performances. Sophomore Mason Speta finished second in Division I women’s épée. Junior Adam Mathieu finished third in Division I men’s foil, while on the women’s side, junior Margaret Lu finished sixth and senior Nzingha Prescod seventh. Junior Geoffrey Loss added a sixth-place finish in sabre.
Columbia's usual fencing rivals also received standout performances. Harvard first-year Eli Dershwitz added to his medal collection with a silver in Division I men’s sabre. Penn State, Stanford, and Notre Dame also got medal performances out of competing athletes.
The Columbia fencing season will kick off on Oct. 26 with the Alumni Meet. Competition begins Nov. 14 with the Columbia Invitational.