The fencing team opened its season with a great performance at the Temple Open on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pa. The Open spanned the whole day and featured six top-10 finishes for the Cornell team.
The freshmen participated in their first college tournament and did not wait to showcase their talents. Freshmen April Whitney and Christine McIntosh finished second and third, respectively, out of 86 total foil competitors. Sophomore co-captain Beverly Yang took second out of 71 fencers in saber, while sophomore Adelaide McDonnell and sophomore Christie Robinson took third and fifth, respectively, out of 77 fencers in epee. Sophomore Audrey Speer completed the six top-10 finishes with a ninth-place rank in saber.
“I was really proud of our performances,” said senior co-captain Analise Peleggi, who finished 48th in foil. “We’re generally a young team, but we performed so well.”
Along with senior Katie Halpin, who finished 24th in saber, three other Cornell fencers finished in the top-25, with freshman Haley Conover finishing 24th in foil, sophomore Lucia Rafanelli finishing 25th in foil and freshman Jennifer Lee finishing 19th in epee. Sophomores Maria Napolitano and McKellen Rattray both finished just outside of the top 25 at No. 26 in epee and saber, respectively.
The team was thoroughly prepared to exceed expectations, as it had started holding captains’ practices since August, and had practiced with the coaches since mid-October.
“We were training really hard for the upcoming tournament,” Halpin said. “All of our hard work paid off.”
“The discipline is so good this year,” Peleggi said. “Everyone is prepared to give 110 percent.”
Although the athletes participated individually, Cornell made a statement as a collective team.
“We had a lot of support from all of the team members,” Halpin said.
According to Peleggi, the Temple Open –– which is slightly different from other opens –– is “a nice introduction to college fencing, and it gets your toe into competing. You never know what you’re going to get since people have their off-days and on-days.”
However, the Red mostly showed up with an on-day, and started the season strong.
“We want to maintain the team spirit and work hard in team practices,” Halpin said. “We want to maintain our effort and good results … and we are looking forward to a great fencing season.”
“I’m excited to see what we’ll do this year,” Peleggi added.