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Men's Fencers Impress at North American Cup

Jerry Chang (Back row, second from left) with the gold medal he earned in the November men's junior foil event at the November North American Cup this weekend (USA Fencing).

Virginia Beach, Va. – Jerry Chang of the Harvard men’s fencing team claimed gold, while teammates Brian Kaneshige and Michael Woo placed 13th and 15th, respectively, out of 161 competitors in the men’s junior foil event at the November North American Cup in Virginia Beach, Va., Saturday.

The medal marked the second-straight men's junior foil NAC crown for Chang, who stood atop the podium after the NAC in July.

The 2012 Junior World Team Champion did not give up more than six touches to his first three opponents to set up an all-Crimson bout versus Kaneshige in the table of 16. Chang edged Kaneshige in a tight contest, 15-12.

"Fencing Brian was definitely my hardest bout because we fence each other all the time in practice, and you always know what the other person is going do," Chang said. 

In the semifinals, Alex Chiang kept the bout close, but Chang recorded two-straight touches to advance to the finals. In the championship bout, the Harvard freshman held off a late rally from 2011 Cadet World Team member Nobou Bravo, 15-12, in the finals to secure the event's top honors.  

Chang most recently took fourth in foil in his collegiate debut at Penn State Garret Open, the best finish in the event for a non-Penn State participant.

A week after picking up a bronze medal at the Luxembourg Junior Foil World Cup, sophomore Kaneshige continued his success on the mat with a first-round bye and three wins in table play. He defeated Jonathan-Villeneuve-leroux in convincing fashion, 15-5, in the table of 128 and upended David Kong II, 15-10, in the next table. The 2011 Junior World Team Champion upset 11th-seed Drew Johnston in a close affair, 15-13, but fell to a fellow-Crimson, Chang, in the table of 16.

Woo also earned a bye in the table of 256 and held opponents to single-digit scores in his first three bouts in table play. He lost to Stephen Mageras, who ultimately finished tied for third, in the table of 16.

The trio travels to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Dec. 1, for Harvard's contests with Vassar, NYU, North Carolina Sacred Heart and Penn State.