Harvard Fencers Head to Penn State for NCAA Championships

Harvard Fencers Head to Penn State for NCAA Championships

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The Particulars

The Harvard fencing team will send nine members, including five women and four men, to the NCAA Championships hosted by Penn State at the Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility in State College, Pa.  The championships will begin Thursday, March 19 and conclude Sunday, March 22. 


Harvard is looking to improve on its sixth-place finish a year ago and has the sixth-most qualifiers for this year’s championship. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State have the maximum number of 12 fencers going, while Columbia has 11, St. John’s has 10 and Penn qualified nine.


The NCAA Championships include individual events in each of the six weapons (women’s foil, women’s epee, women’s sabre, men’s foil, men’s epee, men’s sabre).

Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top four fencers in each event will fence direct elimination 15-touch bouts for first, second and third places.  An institution’s place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual.


Crimson Qualifiers

Freshman Noam Mills and senior Maria Larsson each earned bids to the championships in the women’s epee.  Mills recently won the gold medal at the NCAA Regionals and was a first-team All-Ivy League honoree in her rookie season after going 17-1 at the Ivy League Championships.  Larsson, who finished 11th at last year's NCAA meet, won the silver at the NCAA regional competition and has been an All-Ivy League selection the last two years.  Larsson was 14-4 at the Ivy meet. 

Senior foil fencer Emily Cross, an individual national champion in 2005 and an Olympic silver medalist in 2008, is a two-time All-American and a three-time All-Ivy first-team choice.  A Crimson co-captain, she posted a 16-2 record at the Ivy League Championships this season and won the gold medal at NCAA Regionals.  Freshman Shelby MacLeod, who recently won the bronze at the NCAA regional meet, also qualified for the NCAA meet and recorded a 9-4 mark at this year's Ivy League Championships.

Freshman sabre fencer Caroline Vloka was 16-2 overall against Ivy opponents in her rookie campaign.  She placed fifth at the NCAA Regionals and won the gold at the IFA Championships as a well as the Garret Penn State Open. 

On the men's side, senior co-captain Benjamin Ungar and junior Karl Harmenberg were chosen to fence in the epee.  Ungar, a 2006 individual national champion, is a two-time All-Ivy League first-team recipient.  Ungar posted an 11-1 mark at this year's Ivy League Championship and won gold at the IFA Championships before taking fifth at the NCAA Regionals March 8.  Harmenberg was an All-Ivy second-team honoree and claimed the gold medal at the NCAA Regionals.  He boasted a 10-5 record at the Ivy League Championships.

In the men's foil, senior co-captain Kai Itameri-Kinter will represent the Crimson at the NCAA Championships after taking the bronze at the NCAA Regionals.  Itameri-Kinter went 9-6 at the Ivy meet this season and is a two-time All-Ivy League choice.  He was also an All-American in 2006 after placing sixth at the national tournament.

Freshman sabre fencer Valentin Staller garnered first-team All-Ivy League honors.  He went 15-3 at the Ivy meet and took home the silver medal at the NCAA Regionals.  

Last Year at NCAAs

The Crimson placed sixth overall and earned several All-America selections.  Edward SherrillSteve Ahn ’08 was 12th in the sabre division and received All-America honorable mention.  ’08 finished fifth in the epee to garner All-America second-team honors, and


Alexa Weingarden ’08 grabbed eighth in the women’s sabre and was tabbed to the All-America second team.