Raynis finished sixth in the Division I men's epee (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
DALLAS, Texas - Over the weekend, five members of the Harvard fencing teams competed at the December North American Cup. The second 2013-14 North American Cup of the year featured over 1,000 athletes from across the United States and Canada and acts as a key qualifier for both the 2014 Senior and Junior World Championships. Four fencers represented the Crimson men while Nina van Loon was the lone competitor from Harvard's women's squad.
Michael Raynis finished sixth overall in the Division I men's epee to highlight the Crimson fencers performances. The senior qualified for the ranking rounds by notching four victories in his qualifying pool. After receiving a bye in the table of 256, the 48th-seeded, epeeist downed Justin Wan, 15-12, and Marc Andrew, 15-10, to reach the table of 32. The senior captain continued his winning ways with a hard fought contest over Dwight Smith, 14-13, before taking the strip against James Moody in back-to-back bouts. The captain tallied the win in the first meeting, 14-11, but had his win streak snapped by Moody in the quarterfinals, 9-1, to finish sixth in a field of 254 fencers.
The remaining Harvard men's fencers took the strip in the Division I men's foil. Michael Woo and Brian Kaneshige finished 9th and 11th, respectively, while Jerry Chang's 23rd-place finish rounded out the trio.
Woo put on an impressive showing as he swept his six pool play bouts with a plus-28 indicator. The sophomore headed into the table of 128 seeded first and received a bye in round one. He downed George Haglund, 15-12, and went on to best James Weiss, 15-11, to reach the table of 16. Woo was upset by the 17th-seed, Samuel Moelis, 15-13, to finish ninth.
Kaneshige also went unbeaten in pool play to sit fifth headed into the ranking rounds where he received a bye in the opening bout. The sophomore opened up the ranking rounds with a 15-12 defeat of Benjamin Perkins followed by a 15-9 victory over Drew Johnston. The foil fencer's run came to an end in the round of 16 as Jeremy Goldstein defeated Kaneshige, 15-14.
Chang qualified for the ranking rounds by tallying five wins in pool play action. The 24th-seed notched victories over Keith Kan, 15-7, and Adam Pantel, 15-9, before falling to Alexander Massials, 15-6. The sophomore finished 23rd overall.
Van Loon represented the Crimson women with a 54th-place showing in the Division I women's epee. After posting three victories in qualifying pools, the sophomore entered the tables as the 54th-seed where she faced Canada's Alexanna Vertte in the round of 128. Van Loon downed her opponent from the north, 15-2, but fell in the ensuing round to Katharine Holmes, 15-13.
Both of Harvard's squads will return to the strip following the New Year when the Crimson travels to Queens, N.Y., for the St. John's Invitational, Jan. 26.