HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College men's fencing team opened its competition season this past Sunday at the 34th Annual Temple Open, an individual event that is the largest collegiate fencing tournament in the country. Haverford freshman epeeist Eric Gardner led the day with a bronze medal in the epee event.
The freshman's medal was the first hardware won at the Temple Open by Haverford since epeeists Andrew Bostick and James Nieuwland won back-to-back golds in 2010 and 2011. Gardner, who was seeded first after preliminary pools, was the highest-finishing Division III fencer in the pack of 105 competitors, and downed rivals from Penn State University, Johns Hopkins University and the Stevens Institute of Technology on his way to the finals.
Joining Gardner in the final round of eight was junior foilist and co-captain Max Findley, who had a stellar day on the strips until running out of gas against eventual bronze medalist Jorge Rojas from Stevens. Junior Joshua Nadel was the highest finisher for the sabre squad, making it all the way to the round of 32 from a pool of 101 competitors, finishing 29th after defeating fencers from New York University and the University of Florida. Fencers from Penn State won the gold medal in both foil and epee, while the University of North Carolina dominated the sabre, sweeping the medal round.
Haverford freshmen had success beyond Gardner's bronze as fellow epeeist Reid Cohen stormed all the way to 14th place, and foilist Aldis Gamble cracked the round of 32, placing 31st of 92 foil fencers. Epeeist Jake Bassinder placed 35th, but his most impressive result on the day was a first-round, seeding-pool victory over defending Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association champion Marvin Hargraves of West Point.
Also fencing well on the day with respectable finishes were Darwin Keung, 37th in the sabre, and foilists Baptiste Teyssier and Lawrence Wang, at 18th and 21st, respectively. With two fencers cracking the round of 32 and one in the finals, the foil squad showed its depth on the day while also demonstrating it is a danger to any squad in the country.
The Fords will next compete on Nov. 10 when they travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for the Vassar Invitational, where they will face a slew of MACFA opponents as well as Sacred Heart University and host Vassar.