March 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM
The national championship is halfway over and Penn State is in solid shape, leading the event, 94-83.
On Friday, the Nittany Lions saw two of their stars -- David Willette (foil) and freshman sensation Shaul Gordon (saber) -- nearly capture individual national titles, only to finish in second place.
Willette had to overcome fellow Lion Miles Chamley-Watson en route to his silver medal finish. Willette defeated his teammate in a semifinal match, 15-12.
But when facing Olympian Alex Massialas, from Stanford, Willette was overwhelmed, falling to the freshman, 15-9.
As for the saber division, while Gordon made it to the title match, captain Adrian Bak put on a show in the semifinal round.Bak and Pennsylvania’s Michael Mills traded points back-and-forth until Mills finally put Bak away, winning 15-14.
After his defeat of Bak, Mills soundly defeated Gordon in the final, 15-9.
The men’s team is now finished for the season, as the women will begin competing tomorrow morning.
Chamley-Watson finished tied for third in foil. Bak finished fourth in saber. Vernon O’Garra and Benjamin Russell finished 14th and 15th, respectively, in epee.
September 29, 2012 at 7:18 PM
No official score was kept in the Penn State fencing team's Alumni match Saturday morning but, that did not stop some friendly competitive chatter between the alumni and students.
The event started with introduction from both the Alumni and current Penn State fencing team. It was a period of playful boasting that ended with all around applause. Coach Emmanuil Kaidanov gave out Penn State jackets to deserving young freshman.
The alumni were very confident heading into the meet.
“Historically the alumni pull out the win,” Jason Krasowitz, a Penn State alumnus, said.
Coach Kaidanov talked about what the meet is all about.
“It's an opportunity to come back to youth years. It's also is a challenge and fun,” Kaidanov said.
Both sides were enjoying the competition.
“It's a lot of trash talking, but it's fun” said Adrian Bak, a senior saber and team captain.
When asked what would put the students over the alumni Bak said, “these young fresh legs." Bak, a two-time all-American, gathered a crowd when he crossed swords with Thomas Strzalkowski, a national champion for Penn State in 1992, 1993, 1994.
Another student that challenged the alumni is Daniel Gomez, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, wielding the foil. He scored a few victories himself. The current Penn State fencing team seemed to overwhelm the alumni this year but, no official winners were crowned, just like Coach Kaidanov wanted. Instead, it was a bonding moment for both students and alumni.