Penn State Men's Fencing Team Comes Up Short in the Garrett Open
Nov. 22, 2009
University Park, Pa.- In the final day of competition at the Garrett Open, the Penn State men's fencers fell short in the saber, epee and foil contests. The tournament resumed this morning in the White Building following the female's fencing portion yesterday.
The saber was the strongest competition for the men's fencing team, with sophomore Aleksander Ochocki (Clark, N.J.) and senior Daniel Bak (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) both making it to the semifinals. Ochocki won 15-11 against Yale's Colin Mills in the quarterfinals, but then lost to Notre Dame's Avery Zuck by the same score in the semifinals.
Bak, who was originally going to miss the tournament due to an injury, held off Notre Dame's Barron Nydam 15-10 in the quarterfinals, but fell apart in the semifinals against Harvard's Valentin Staller and lost 15-11.
Bak and Ochocki went head-to-head in a friendly third-place match, where Bak came from behind to beat his teammate Ochocki, 15-13.
Senior Brian Heflich (East Setauket, N.Y.) quietly made his way through the competition as the only Penn State male fencer in the top 8 of the epee competition. In the semifinals, Heflich lost against Princeton's Jonathan Yergler 15-10. In the consolation round, Heflich dominated his opponent, Igor Tolkachev from Ohio State, 15-8 and finished in third place.
In the foil, freshman Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi (Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico) fell just short of making the top 8 with a 10th place finish.
Despite the superior performance by the women's fencing team yesterday, Coach Emmanuil Kaidanov, now in his 28th season coaching at Penn State, was still content with the men's performances. "Brian Heflich had a good performance considering the strength in the field," he said. "In the foil we did not have our strongest fencers. The main idea of this tournament is to let the team fence the most bouts possible and I think they still did very well."
The Penn State women's and men's fencing teams will have a week off before heading to Boston, Mass. for a tournament at Harvard University on November 29.