With the first of four days at the NCAA Championships in San Antonio in the books, the Princeton fencing team is right where it left off last season, in second place.
Princeton's six men's fencers Thursday won a total of 51 of a possible 90 bouts. The only team to outdo Princeton was Penn State, which won 63 of 90 bouts. Other teams are in close pursuit, with Harvard and Notre Dame each tallying 50 wins.
The six Princeton men will have 24 points available Friday before the women take over Saturday. Princeton and Notre Dame were the only teams to qualify the maximum 12 fencers. Of the other teams in the top five after the first day, the other three (Penn State, Harvard, Stanford) have five women's fencers qualified compared to six for Princeton and Notre Dame, so the Tigers may have an edge over that trio.
Within the individual weapons, Princeton's epee was two wins stronger than its foil team, 20-18, and the saberists brought home 13 wins. Rookie foilist Michael Dudey was the top performer, winning 13 of 15 bouts, closely followed by senior epeeists Jonathan Yergler and Edward Kelley with 10 wins apiece. Junior sabersits Robert Stone and Philip Dershwitz chipped in seven and six wins, respectively, and rookie foilist Rodney Chen had five.
Through the first day, Dudey, Yergler and Kelley are in position to move on to the medal round, but they'll have to stay in their weapon's top four in order to be there after all the pool bouts are completed tomorrow. Semifinal and final bouts can be seen live on ESPN3.com beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET tomorrow. The day's competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The only foilist fencer to do better than Dudey on the first day was Notre Dame's Gerek Meinhardt, won won all 15 bouts and defeated Dudey 5-1 in their head-to-head bout. Meinhardt was the only fencer across all three weapons to finish the first day undefeated.
Live results, including the first day's totals, can be found here.