Individual statistics aren’t everything — unless you’re talking about the NCAA selection process for fencing national championships.
Despite being a two-time All-American and posting a ninth-place finish at the NCAA regional competition this past weekend, junior co-captain Meghan Phair was not chosen to receive a bid to represent the Mid-Atlantic/South Region at the national tournament in the epee category.
“I was heartbroken,” said head coach Albert Peters. “Meghan is a tremendous competitor and a superb athlete, and not to have her at this competition is a very sad thing.”
The NCAA Fencing Selection Committee met yesterday in Indianapolis to choose the 144 athletes that will compete in the men’s and women’s fields in Houston, Texas beginning March 17.
The Mid-Atlantic/South region was given 23 total spots in the women’s field, with seven bids available in the epee category. Final selection of who will receive bids is based on a numbers system where season record counts for 40 percent and regional finish counts for 60 percent of an individual’s rating.
The at-large bids that Phair was eligible for were awarded to Elizabeth Morgan Midgley of Columbia and Eliza Enyart from Air Force.
“One of the things about fencing is that even with the very, very good [athletes], you have to do it every time,” Peters said. “[Phair] had two kind of bad days during the year, one a couple weeks ago against Columbia and this regional — it was the same was, she was a little off her game. Meghan was unfortunate; she had a bad day.”
Phair finished the regular season with a 39-9 record. Sophomore Ivana Zgaljic compiled a 33-15 mark during the season, but her seventh-place finish in the regional competition gave her an advantage in the final selection process. Zgaljic will be the only fencer representing Cornell at the national championships.
“We’re very happy for Ivana, and we don’t want to lose sight of that,” Peters said. “It’s always more fun to have a teammate there with you, but once you’re there you just do the work. When you’re on the strip you’re by yourself anyways.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor