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Fencers tie for 13th at NCAA Championships

Sports Editor
Friday, April 8, 2011

In the 2001-2002 season, three fencers represented Brown at the NCAA Championships, and the team came in 16th place. In the following years, only one or two fencers have qualified for the championships each year.  

But this season, Brown sent five fencers to the NCAA Championships at Ohio State University March 24-27. They earned a combined score of 39 points, ending the competition in a three-way tie with Temple University and U.S. Air Force Academy for 13th place out of 30 teams.

“It’s the best we’ve ever done as a varsity team,” said Cory Abbe ’13. “It’s kind of cool being in the top 15 in the country.”

Notre Dame claimed first place with 174 points. The Fighting Irish had multiple fencers competing in each event, giving them an advantage over the Bears, who had no qualifiers in men’s foil or epee and only one each in women’s epee and saber.

Abbe finished in 17th place in women’s epee after winning 10 bouts, sending 79 touches and receiving 91.  

“My main goal was not to embarrass myself,” Abbe said. “Seventeenth is really good.”

Both Kathryn Hawrot ’14 and Avery Nackman ’13 qualified for women’s foil, coming in 16th and 22nd, respectively.  

“In all honesty, I could have done better,” Nackman said. “I think I was a little nervous to start, and I just wasn’t as sharp at fencing as I could have been.”

Hawrot expressed similar sentiments about her performance.

“I personally wish I had done a little better,” she said. “I was hoping to get top 12. … I’m still happy with the way I finished. I didn’t get last, so that’s good.”

Though Hawrot had hoped for better results, Abbe said that sending Hawrot to the championships as a first-year was “really motivating.” This will make the entire team more motivated for next season, she added.  

Caitlin Taylor ’13, who represented the Bears in women’s saber, was the only fencer from Brown who had made a previous trip to the NCAA Championships. She won eight bouts and came in 18th, one spot higher than her 19th-place finish at last season’s championships.

Teddy Weller ’13 was Bruno’s lone male representative at the tournament. He won seven bouts in men’s saber, sending 75 touches and receiving 98 to earn a 19th-place finish.

Weller said he wished more of his male teammates could have qualified for the championships so that there would be “more of a team atmosphere.”

Now that Brown has sent a record number of fencers to the championships and placed within the top 15 in the country, the fencers hope the program will continue to expand, Hawrot said.

“I think more fencers are looking at Brown now because the people on the team have been more committed,” Hawrot said. “We had a really strong team this year. We can definitely do better. We’re hoping to send more people to do better.”


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