March 11, 2002

Fencers Falter at Northeast Regionals

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The fencing team suffered a disappointing afternoon yesterday, failing to qualify anyone for the NCAA Championships. This inability means that the Red’s season is over, rather than continuing for another week, as it would have if fencers had qualified for the next step.

Of the foil fencers, Tara Hatami finished highest, coming in 22nd place. Tara Watkins placed 28th and Rachel Lee rounded out the squad with a 34th place finish. The epee squad managed some higher results, with junior Siobhan Cully capturing seventh place, Stephanie Glaser in 10th and Patricia Blumenauer coming in 12th.

In addition, Cully’s finish was the highest among Cornell fencers on all three squads. It should be mentioned that while she did not qualify for the automatic bid, as the third at large selection in the Northeast Region, Cully still has a slight chance to get an at large bid to the championships which will be released on Thursday.

In saber, Elinor Granzow finished 16th and Erin Conroy finished 30th.

“It was a tough, tough day,” head coach Al Peters candidly remarked. “We had hoped to qualify someone. Obviously Siobhan was the closest and we had a few others but nobody else was really close.” However, qualifying for the NCAA’s is extremely difficult. In the past six years, only six Cornellians have done so, two of them last year.

As Peters put it, “Some people fenced well, others not as well as they would have liked. If you qualify today you’re basically automatically one of the top 24 fencers in the country.”

The Red began the day filled with hope. Although undoubtedly disappointed by their 10th-place finish the previous week at the IFA Championships, the match was seen as an extremely rigorous day that would only prepare them that much better for this weekend’s more important event.

The Red also has veterans like Blumenauer, Elinor Granzow and Cully, who had qualified for the NCAA’s before. Expectations ran high that one or several of the fencers would finish high enough at the Regionals. The meet is one of many factors which, combined with previous results and strength of schedule, yields a mathematical composite that determines who qualifies for the NCAA championships.

Archived article by Andrew Bernie