Junior Matt Simmons scored an impressive 5-1 victory over world champion Alexander Pusch in the epee competition of the Martini and Rossi international challenge tournament at the New York Athletic Club Saturday.
Simmons defeated Pusch in the round-robin quarterfinals of the competition. "I hit him twice in the knee and that did him in," Simmons said yesterday, adding that "it was very surprising to win."
On his way to the quarterfinals, Simmons helped eliminate another fencing heavyweight from the meet, as he defeated George Mason, a former U.S. Olympic fencer, in a preliminary bout.
In a second tough quarterfinal pairing, Simmons outmaneuvered NCAA champion Randy Eggleton of Penn. "It was the best fencing I've ever had, I was fencing faster and stronger than I had all season," Simmons declared.
Stopped in the Semies
Simmons was stopped in the semi-finals, losing four out of five duels to stiff international competition. But he added still another titleholder to his collection of victims by vanquishing Scott Bozak, the current U.S. national champion.
Simmons was impressed by the caliber of the international swordsmen. "It was a whole different world," he said. "They're faster, smarter, and more experienced than college fencers."
Co-captain-elect for next year's varsity fencing team, Simmons was the only Crimson swordsman to be invited to compete in the epee division of the meet. The final round of epee competition was held late Sunday.
Simmons does not intend to train for the Olympic team this year, but he admits that it is a possibility for the future. "I just have to wait and see what happens," Simmons said.
Foiled in Foils
Teammate and co-captain-elect John Major performed excellently in the foil event of the meet. Major was eliminated in the last round of the quarterfinal competition last Friday night by U.S. Olympic team member Bert Freeman.
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