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Fencers Take Fourth Place in Nationals

Keller Wins All-American Honors Again While Cetrulo Settles for Second Team

By Martin R. Garay

Amid some questionable changes in the NCAA competition format, the Harvard fencing team finished the three-day tournament this weekend in South Bend, Ind., in a tie for fourth place, as one Crimson foiled made the first All-American team, and a saberman made the second.

The Crimson, tied Navy for fourth place behind N.Y.U., Columbia, and Penn. In the spacious, thoroughly modern and professional arena at Notre Dame, the rest of the nation was unable to knock off the powerful Ivy League teams. The East also took all five spots in dominating the All-American selections.

For Harvard, foiler Tom Keller received All-American honors for the second year in succession, while Larry Cetrulo, who made the first team his sophomore year, dropped to the second squad.

Mark Irvings, the third Crimson entry, made it to the finals in the epee but could not handle the pressure there and finished next-to-last in that weapon.

"All three fencers started out very well, but on the second day of competition they fell apart and lost to some real turkeys, so to speak," coach Edo Marion said yesterday.

A partial explanation for the Crimson's poor showing on the second day can be attributed to the change of format proposed by the rules committee and somehow accepted by a majority of the coaches.

In the past, the NCAA tournament ran for three days, with the first two days consisting of elimination rounds, while the last day was set aside for the finals.

This year, however, the rules committee- which includes coaches from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Air Force, Cornell, and Navy- decided to make the final two days a round robin tournament instead of eliminations.

Although the Cornell and Navy coaches oppose?? the change, the others decided to present their proposal to the entire body of fencing coaches.

The proposal took most coaches by surprise, but after a short debate. the changes were accepted. Marion was one of eight to oppose the proposal. "I did not believe that a competition of this sort should be changed while it is in progress. So, on principle, I voted against it," Marion said.

While round robin competition is not in itself bad. It demands that a fencer prepare differently. He cannot coast on the second day, and then come on with a tremendous effort on the last day. He has to be up for every bout and cannot let up against lesser competition.

Cetrulo, who usually is well prepared for competition, was thrown off quite a bit by the change, losing bouts to lesser swordsmen early on the second lay.

"I had prepared for a Saturday final, not a round robin," he said yesterday afternoon. "Consequently, when I lost two early bouts. I had to fence from behind to catch up to the top fencers. I like fencing as a favorite, not as an underdog."

Though Cetrulo lose some bouts he should not have, he won his bouts against the sabermen who finished above him. "I'm not discouraged. I still think that I'm the best saberman in the country," Cetrulo said.

He will have an opportunity to confirm his feeling in the North Atlantics, the Martini and Rossi competition and the Nationals, all to be held in coming weeks.

Keller, who had done miserably in the Easterns. changed drastically in the NCAA's. winning seven out of nine bouts on the first day, and 17 out of 23 in the round robin competition. Only Walter Krause of N.Y.U. won more bouts.

Irvings, unshakable in the Easterns, was terrified during the NCAA's. "He was afraid throughout the last two days," Marion said. "He had good timing and sense of distance, but never enough penetration and he got touches because of it."

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