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Fencing: Bedor moves to Nationals

By Max Goldstein
On March 16, 2010

The Brandeis men's and women's fencing teams were in action for their last meet of the season last Sunday, the NCAA Northeast Regionals at Brown University. Will Bedor '10 qualified and is moving on to the NCAA Nationals in the men's épée.Bedor placed sixth overall in épée, powered by strong showings in nearly every round, placing seventh, ninth and sixth in the second, third and fourth rounds, respectively.

Although only Bedor qualified, many on the team came close to qualifying. Adam Austin '11 made it to the final 12 but placed last in that final round.

Austin "needed to make the top eight, but he ran out of gas and had a little muscle pull," said coach Bill Shipman. Sean Norton '10 finished 12th, which was a good finish considering that he was seeded 29th.

This week, four women's fencers were placed on the all-University Athletic Association Northeast Conference team. Anna Hanley '11, Emma Larkin '11, Zoe Messinger '13 and Vikki Nunley '13 received these honors. This was Hanley's second straight year being placed on the all-UAA Northeast team and the first time for everyone else.

Hanley was also named fencer of the year in the UAA Northeast Conference last year.

The women tried to build on these honors and had a somewhat successful day. While no fencer qualified for nationals, the team did field younger students who fenced very well.

According to Hanley, the women's first-years are looking forward to a good year next season.

"I think the freshmen did really well; they all made it out of the first round. They definitely met expectations," said Hanley. Nunley fell in the second round.

"Vikki fenced really well for her competition," noted Shipman.

"The freshmen set a good foundation for their future," said Hanley, who qualified for Nationals last year but fell in the semifinals Sunday to what Shipman later said was strong competition.

"[I'm] a little disappointed; [it was] not her best in the semifinals when we needed it. There is not much of a margin for error in this tourney," said Shipman. Alex Turner '11 had a solid tournament as well, finishing in the top 25, but she did not qualify for regionals.

"I thought a lot of people fenced well, but I wasn't happy with the qualifying results; I hoped to get two or three [fencers] in," said Shipman. However, Regionals is the toughest competition that Brandeis faced this year.

"[Regionals was] definitely our most important meet of the year," said Hanley.

"Competition included former Junior all-Americans and fencers on the world team. You have to really fence your best to make an impact; there is not much of a margin for error," said Shipman.

Although the ending to the season was a bit disappointing, both teams can definitely look forward to next year, as they are both very young and have a lot of potential.

"We have everyone back, and we'll add some new people. I'm hoping that [the returning team members] keep their enthusiasm and desire, improve and be even better next year," said Shipman. However, the team will have to replace Bedor, Brandeis' only qualifier and one of its top fencers.

"Hopefully our returning men's épée will step up to fill Bedor's hole,"added Shipman, who is first looking forward to Bedor's NCAA Nationals in two weeks and is confident he will finish high despite the tough competition.

"Physically and athletically he can do well; he'll be able to hold his own," said Shipman.

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