M. and w. fencing win big at The Big One

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The fencing team posted dominating results in its season debut at The Big One over the weekend – the Bears earned 11 medals at the individual tournament, including at least one medal in the men’s and women’s saber, epee and foil draws. But the team insisted it has a long way to go to reach midseason form.

“It was a great performance to start the year, but we always think we can do things better,” said tricaptain Charlotte Gartenberg ’08. “You can always find flaws, and working on them is the way we improve.”

The competition featured pool play first, which helped determine seeding in the single elimination brackets for each weapon. Brown faced fellow Northeastern mainstays in the competition, including Brandeis, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston and Wellesley colleges.

In men’s and women’s foil, Brown showed it has little room for improvement at the top. Francesca Bartholomew ’11 won the women’s draw after going through pools undefeated in her first collegiate competition. Adam Pantel ’10, who transferred this year from Rutgers, won the men’s competition to complete the sweep for the Bears. In addition to foil’s two gold medals, Jonathan Yu ’11 tied for third, Kirsten Lynch ’10 finished eighth and Herald Executive Editor Allison Kwong ’08 took 13th.

Bartholomew was particularly dominant. She cruised through five bouts in pools. In her direct elimination bracket, where bouts either go up to 15 points – known as touches – or a time limit, she kept each of her opponents out of double-digits in points before winning.

“For the first competition of the season, I was fencing pretty well,” Bartholomew said. “I can still improve, but it was a good start.”

Behind a dominant trio of Gartenberg, Deborah Gorth ’09 and Randy Alevi ’10, the women’s saber team earned three medals. En route to a third-place finish, Gartenberg squared off with Alevi, an honorable mention All-American last year, and defeated her 15-13 in the quarterfinals. It “kind of sucked that the saber girls had to face each other,” Bartholomew said. Gorth and Alevi finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

On the men’s side, saber fencer and tricaptain Sam Levine ’08 took down two higher-seeded fencers en route to the quarterfinals and finished eighth, while Adam Yarnell ’10 took home an eighth-place finish of his own in men’s epee. In women’s epee, tricaptain Christine Livoti ’08 tied for third with teammate Christina Salvatore ’09. Both Livoti and Salvatore went 6-0 in pools and reached the semifinals.

The Bears’ next match is on Nov. 17, at the first of two Northeast Fencing Conference competitions. Between now and then, they hope to improve their outlook toward matches.

“A lot of fencing is working on your approach,” Gartenberg said. “(If) you miss the touch then, okay, you don’t think about it and just move on. Hopefully we’ll be mentally strong in our next competition.”

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