Jarocki became Harvard's fourth individual women's national champion Friday (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Freshman Adrienne Jarocki ended her rookie season Friday afternoon at Ohio State's St. John's Arena standing at the highest point on the podium as the 2014 NCAA Women's Sabre National Champion. Jarocki and the Harvard women's fencing team concluded its time on the strip at the national championships in fourth place with 78 total victories as the men's portion of the combined championships begins tomorrow morning at French Field House.
Jarocki marched through the final portion of the round-robin competition, totaling 18 wins over the two days with 108 recorded touches and a plus-53 scoring index. The Middle Village, N.Y., native entered the medal round as the second-seed behind teammate sophomore Aliya Itzkowitz who notched 20 victories with 105 recorded touches and a plus-51 indicator.
To open the medal rounds, Jarocki took the strip against third-ranked Gracie Stone of Princeton. The Ivy rivals battled in a tightly contested bout, but Jarocki came out on top, 15-10, to advance to the finals. Itzkowitz, who hails from London, England, clashed against Penn State's Teodora Kakhiani, the fourth seed, in the semifinals. Itzkowitz set-up the Crimson final showdown by downing Kakhiani, 15-12.
After trailing 6-5 Jarocki tied the bout at 6-6 and went on to best Itzkowitz, 15-10, in the final to capture the fourth individual crown for the Harvard women's fencing program and first since Alexandra Kiefer captured the women's foil title in 2011. Jarocki won the Crimson's second sabre event, following Carolina Vloka '12's NCAA sabre win in 2010. Both Jaorcki and Itzkowitz garnered All-America first team accolades for their first- and second-place finishes, respectively.
In her collegiate fencer finale, Kiefer concluded her career with her fourth All-America showing, joining Vloka as the second fencer in Crimson history to earn four All-American honors. The foil fencer, who calls Lexington, Ky., home, posted a 16-7 performance and a plus-26 differential with 94 touches recorded good for sixth place.
Sitting in eighth after the first day of fencing, epeeist Isabel DiTella rallied on the second day of competition to take sixth overall and picked up All-American accolades. The sophomore from Cambridge, Mass., notched a 13-10 record with 82 touches recorded and a plus-16 indicator.
DiTella's weaponmate, junior Emma Vaggo wrapped up the tournament in ninth place. The Kullavik, Sweden native went 11-12 on the strip with a plus-13 index to receive an All-American nod, the first post season honor of her career.
Harvard's five All-American honors is the most all-american honors in Crimson history. The total surpasses Harvard's previous record of four set by the 2009-10 squad.
Trailing just nine points behind defending national champion Princeton, the Harvard men's fencers begin competing tomorrow in the preliminary rounds looking to close the gap and capture the Crimson's second national title. Fencing is set to begin at tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in French Field House.
Day 1 Recap - Thursday, March 20
Freshman Adrienne Jarocki leads the women's sabre field with 13 victories, as the Harvard fencing team concluded day one at the 2014 NCAA Championship at Ohio State's French Field House Thursday evening. The Crimson concluded the first session of women's competition in fourth place with 50 wins.
In her first appearance at the national championships, Jarocki rattled off 13 victories in 15 matches, ending the day with a plus-45 indicator with 71 total touches. Of her eight bouts remaining on day two, one bout will be against Princeton's Gracie Stone who currently is second with 12 wins and a plus-33 scoring differential. Fellow sabre fencer Aliya Itzkowitz is plus-five behind Stone in third place as the sophomore notched 12 triumphs on the first day of fencing.
The Crimson's epeeist yielded 14 victories as sophomore Isabel DiTella and junior Emma Vaggo recorded seven each on opening day. DiTella holds a plus-five indicator for eighth place while Vaggo's lands only one spot behind in ninth at plus-four.
In the foil, senior Alexandra Kiefer earned 11 points for Harvard to sit sixth overall.
Defending national champion Princeton leads the team total with 60 victories after day one. Penn State (56) and Ohio State (53) sit second and third, respectively. Harvard's 50 points land fourth while Notre Dame rounds out the top five with 48 total points.