Mar 24, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS – Taking to the strip at the 2017 NCAA Championships, sophomore Eli Dershwitz claimed his first national title, winning the men's sabre category with a final tally of 15-10 against Wayne State's Zaid Elsissy. Dershwitz is the first men's fencing team member to clinch an individual title since 2007, when Tim Hagamen '07 earned the same honor. Dershwitz earned his second All-America first team honors with the victory.
Dershwitz opened the two-day event at the round robins, sweeping the first three rounds with a 14-1 record. Dershwitz led the sabre category with a plus-51 touch differential, earning the first spot in the standings at the conclusion of the day.
Dershwitz opened up the second day of competition with a 6-1 record in the fourth and fifth rounds with a plus-15 touch variance. Dershwitz faced fourth-seeded Ben Natanzon of St. John's in the semifinal, only giving up six touches in bout. Dershwitz earned his spot in the finals with a 15-6 victory over Natanzon.
Erwin Cai also competed in the men's sabre event, earning a 12th-place finish at the conclusion of the event and All-America honorable mention. The freshman earned 13 victories over the course of the two-day event and a positive touch differential.
In foil, George Haglund and Matthew Branman competed for the Crimson. Haglund finished the event with a seventh-place distinction, earning All-America second team honors. Haglund opened the championship with a 9-6 mark, also earning a plus-17 touch differential. Haglund moved onto the fourth and fifth rounds and earned six additional victories, finishing seventh out of 24 fencers.
Branman earned seven wins during the opening rounds of the competition and a positive touch differential. The freshman moved on to the second day of competition to earn three additional wins, including a 5-1 decision against NYU's Philip Shin. Branman finished the championship ranked 17th.
In epee, Albert Chien was the sole competitor for the Crimson. Chien opened the event with eleven victories in the first three round robins. Chien finished the first day ranked in the second position with a plus-19 touch differential. Chien was able to earn three additional victories during the fourth and fifth rounds on Friday, finishing the event ranked seventh. Chien also earned All-America second team honors with his placement.
Harvard sits in fifth place in the team standings following the men's event, 13 victories behind Notre Dame and Ohio State for first. The NCAA women's championship begins Saturday, March 25 in Indianapolis.