Fencing Competes For IFA Championships

Freshman women foils meet in semis

Members of the Harvard women’s fencing team pride themselves on supporting their teammates, even in individual competitions.

But when Crimson freshmen foils Anne Austin and Chloe Stinetorf faced each other in the foil semifinals at the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championships, it’s not surprising that some of the fencers were a little confused about whom to cheer for.

“Everyone was like ‘Go Anne,’ ‘Go Chloe,’” Stinetorf said. “Eventually the whole team was just like ‘Go Harvard.’”

Austin went on to win the bout 15-8 before losing in the finals to Princeton’s Jacqueline Leahy, 15-6.

Meanwhile Stinetorf won her bronze medal match against MIT’s Susannah Dorfman, 15-4.

With only three women’s foils at Harvard, Austin and Stinetorf fence each other on a daily basis.

“We always go back-and-forth when we fence,” Austin said. “Fencing Anne changed a lot for me mentally. The relative skill level didn’t matter much. It just came down to whomever had a lucky day.”

Stinetorf wasn’t as sure that it made as much of a difference fencing Austin.

“When you fence anyone—whether it’s a teammate or not—it doesn’t affect me,” Stinetorf said. “It’s not an issue. We fence each other all the time in practice, so we knew each other’s strategy, but it didn’t make much of a difference.”

Although the Crimson placed two fencers in the top three of the individual playoff bracket, Princeton claimed the team foil title with a 31-1 record during team competition. The Harvard team of Austin, Stinetorf and co-captain Liz Blaze finished second with a 27-5 mark. Blaze went 7-3 to finish fourth in Pool C.

The Crimson finished fourth overall with a 58-37 record in the 12-team field.

In the saber, junior Eunice Yi won the bronze after losing a close semifinal, 15-11, to eventual gold medalist Christina Robinson of Columbia.

Co-captain Amy Bei and sophomore Asya Agulnik placed 13th and 16th, respectively, in the saber. As a team, Harvard finished fifth at 19-13.

In the epee, junior Sarah Park was the top Crimson finisher with an 11th-place performance. Park placed second in Pool B with a 7-3 record before losing to sixth-seeded Ruth Schneider in the elimination round.

—Staff writer Timothy Jackson can be reached at jackson2@fas.harvard.edu.