Nine Fencers Qualify for NCAA Championships

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The nationally ranked Harvard fencing teams have qualified nine fencers for the upcoming NCAA Championships, it was announced Tuesday evening.  The No. 4 Crimson women will send five fencers, while the ninth-ranked men's team will have four representatives. 

This year's NCAA Championships will be held at Penn State's Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility in State College, Pa., March 19-22.

In the women's epee, freshman Noam Mills and senior Maria Larsson each earned bids to the championships.  Mills, a native of Kfar Saba, Israel, 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, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden, was 14-4 at the Ivy meet. 

The Crimson will also send a duo of women's foil fencers, including senior Emily Cross, an individual national champion in 2005.  Cross, an Olympic silver medalist from New York, N.Y., 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.  She will be joined at the NCAA Championships by freshman Shelby MacLeod, who recently won the bronze at the NCAA regional meet.  MacLeod, a native of Sturbridge, Mass., recorded a 9-4 mark at this year's Ivy League Championships.

Freshman Caroline Vloka, who competes in the sabre, rounds out the women's selections to the NCAA Championships.  A product of Upper Saddle River, N.J., Vloka was a perfect 12-0 at the Ivy League Championships, Part I and 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, the 2006 national champion who hails from New York, N.Y., is a two-time All-Ivy League first-team recipient.  After taking the 2007-08 season off trying to make the Olympic team, Ungar was 11-1 at this year's Ivy League Championship and won gold at the IFA Championships before taking fifth at the NCAA Regionals last week.  Harmenberg, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, was an All-Ivy second-team honoree and claimed the gold medal at the NCAA Regionals.  He also posted 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, a product of North Attleboro, Mass., 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.

Valentin Staller earned Harvard's fourth bid to the NCAA Championships for the men, doing so in the sabre.  A native of Old Field, N.Y., Staller enjoyed a successful rookie season with the Crimson, as he 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.  

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