PHILADELPHIA – The Haverford College men's fencing team kicked off its 2019-20 season at the Temple Open on Sunday with eight fencers hitting the strips. The Fords advanced six individuals to the direct elimination round, highlighted by three fencers reaching the Round of 32.
Carter Langen earned a team-best 21st place finish to pace Haverford's foil squad. After a tough opening pool, Langen went 3-1 during the second round and picked up a 15-7 win over Cornell's Calvin Shyu before falling by that same score to his opponent from NYU in the Round of 32. Co-captain Alton Wiggers joined his fellow foilist in the Round of 32. Wiggers was 4-4 over the seeding rounds and earned a 15-8 win over Stony Brook's Ryan Pao in the direct elimination rounds before falling to the seventh-seeded fencer from North Carolina and concluding his day with a 27th place individual finish.
Jack Leighninger joined his weapon squadmates in the direct elimination draw and ended his day with a 38th place showing. Leighninger had the best record on the foil squad after the seeding rounds as he went 5-3 during those bouts, but was also tripped up by an NYU fencer in the direct elimination draw. William Moore debuted as the fourth member of the foil squad. The Fords' first-year showed great promise for the future as he scored three touches during two of his consolation bouts in a strong foil field.
Sabrist Nicholas Conroy was the third Haverford fencer to earn advancement into the Round of 32. Conroy went 9-2 during the pool fencing, with only a 5-4 defeat keeping him from a perfect opening round. His record earned him a bye into the Round of 64 in a crowded sabre field where he defeated Cornell's Nathan Ma. Only a heart-breaking 15-13 defeat at the hands of runner-up Eryk Kokoinski from rival Johns Hopkins stopped his run in the direct elimination round. First-year Neville Linden picked up the first four wins of his collegiate career on Sunday, including a strong 3-3 record in consolation fencing to earn a top-10 finish in that draw.
Both of Haverford's epeeists, Edward Shin and Adrian Velonis, also qualified to the direct elimination bouts. In his college debut, Shin opened with a strong 3-1 round and held a 5-3 record heading into the direct elimination bouts before his 15-14 bout fell to his opponent during the final touch. Shin was credited with a 39th place finish. Velonis earned a 48th place finish as he recorded three wins during the seeding bouts before a Round of 64 direct elimination exit.
Men's fencing will begin team duals this coming weekend as the Fords travel to New York for the Vassar Invitational. That meet is set for Sunday, November 10 with fencing scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. that day.