March 9, 2004

Fencers Going to Nationals Next Weekend

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The Red fencing team continued its strong post-season performance with unprecedented success at the NCAA Regional championships this Sunday at Columbia.

“I was quite happy,” head coach Al Peters said of Cornell’s performance. “Everyone did some good work. Even those that didn’t advance far still fenced well. It was a very tough competition.”

Cornell was represented by seven fencers competing for individual honors in the epee, saber, and foil category. The day started with pool competition in the morning, followed by final round-robin competition between ten athletes in each field.

Sophomore Meghan Phair continued her collegiate success by taking first place in the epee category and securing her second straight bid to the national championships.

She overcame a slow start in the morning matches with a dominating performance in the finals.

“I was really excited,” Phair said. “I hadn’t expected it after fencing poorly in the early rounds.”

Freshman Ivana Zgaljic earned a spot in the Cornell record books by becoming the first Cornell woman to ever earn a bid to the national championships in the saber competition. She fought through a tough field to take sixth place, earning the last spot nationals.

“At the beginning of the year, I predicted she had the best chance besides Meghan,” Peters said. “You don’t expect it the first year, but it’s wonderful.”

Phair and Zgaljic will have a few weeks to prepare for the national competition, which will take place March 25-28 at Brandeis.

“We’ll be refining what they do,” Peters said. “They’ll try to keep in shape, stay relaxed.”


Archived article by Olivia Dwyer