Fencers Stand Second Heading Into Final Day at NCAA Championships
On the first day of the men's half of the competition at the NCAA Championships at Ohio State, Penn State slipped past Princeton into first place, but the Tigers are still in position to make some history.
The Nittany Lions lead heading into the final day of the co-ed competition with 152 bout victories, 17 better than Princeton's 135. The Tigers are 12 in front of third-place Harvard 13 in front of fourth-place St. John's and 14 in front of fifth-place Ohio State. All of the top five schools will have 48 bouts available Sunday.
If the current standings hold, Princeton will be the only school to take home an NCAA trophy - awarded to the top four schools - in each of the last four years. Notre Dame is also vying to be a part of that group, but the Irish stand in sixth place and are 11 back of fourth-place St. John's with just 40 bouts Sunday.
Princeton is also in position to finish in the top two in each of the last three seasons, something no other school would be able to claim. In 2012, Princeton finished second to Ohio State. The Tigers won last year ahead of Notre Dame. This year, Princeton trails only Penn State.
Individually, sophomore epee Jack Hudson and freshman saber Peter Pak are in the best position to gain a berth into the medal round. Hudson has won 10 bouts alongside fourth-place Joseph Rafidi of MIT but is just short on the tiebreaker, touch differential, +14 to +10. Pak, now sixth, won 11 bouts Saturday, the same as Adrian Bak of Penn State and Roman Sydorenko of St. John's, but Bak and Sydorenko are ahead of Pak on touch differential, +30 and +27 to +12. The top four finishers will qualify for the medal round, and all Princeton fencers will have eight more bouts Sunday.
Hudson's fellow epee, freshman Alex House, stands 20th with six bout wins in 15 chances Saturday, and Pak's weapon-mate, senior Philip Dershwitz, is 17th with six wins.
Princeton's sophomore foilists, Michael Dudey and Rodney Chen, stand sixth and 16th, with 10 and five bout victories respectively.
All three weapons will begin competition at 9 a.m. Sunday with medal bouts set to begin at 1:45 p.m. with live coverage on ESPN3.com. For full results, click here.