Led by senior Aliya Itzkowitz’s gold medal in women’s saber, the men’s and women’s fencing squads competed their way to 10 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Northeast Regionals in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. over the weekend.
The men’s team displayed a strong all-around showing in the épée, foil, and saber events, besting its opponents and emerging with a 3-0 overall victory. Similarly, the women’s team swept the three rival schools, with the most decisive victory coming in the saber division.
For the first time since 2009, the Harvard women’s fencing team earned a share of the Ivy League Championship trophy, thanks to strong performances from the saber squad and an epee group that held its own despite its relative lack of experience.
Before and even in the middle of their Harvard careers, a select few Crimson athletes chase international glory for their respective national teams.
Fencing against fields that featured three different Olympic champions and a handful of Olympic medalists over the weekend, three Crimson fencers took part in the FIE Grand Prix at Harvard’s Gordon Indoor Track and held their own against the best saber fencing competition in the world.
Both the men’s and women’s fencing teams went undefeated over the weekend at the annual Traditional Tournament to carry momentum from last season’s strong NCAA Tournament finishes.
After a long offseason layoff, the Harvard men’s and women’s fencing squads travelled to Penn State to compete in the Garret Penn State Open, which saw Harvard fencers competing as individuals in a crowded field. Despite competing with what junior foil fencer Stephen Mageras described as one of the smallest collegiate teams in the field, the Crimson had a few solid performances in the season’s first competition.
For some athletes, collegiate competition is not enough. Freshman sabre fencer Eli Dershwitz came to Harvard with the full knowledge that he would be taking a break from the team after his freshman season.