It was an exciting spring break for the women’s fencing team after a phenomenal performance at the NCAA Regionals.
Temple, currently ranked seventh in the nation, announced that five Owls will be traveling to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to compete in the NCAA National Fencing Tournament this coming weekend.
Regionals were held on March 8 at Penn State and featured an all-star roster of fencers from the Mid-Atlantic South region.
Seven of the 14 Owls competing made it into the final round of their respective weapons.
“We are very pleased about [the results] and are ready for the challenge,” coach Zoila Palacio said.
Senior Sakinah Shaahid and junior Aziza Hassan were both finalists in the sabre and placed third and fourth, respectively.
Freshman Keri Ecker placed 22nd while senior Nicole Macomber placed 23rd.
The Epee competition sent juniors Sara Forsythe and Stephanie Sargent to finals.
Forsythe placed fifth and Sargent placed ninth. Sophomore Katrina Najm also placed 31st in the division.
The Owls’ foil squad was the only team to send three people to the finals.
Sophomore Jeanne Browne, freshman Jenna Remmert and junior Nerita Brumell placed sixth, seventh and 11th, respectively.
Freshman Maryanne Forsythe and sophomore Nnenna Okoro finished 16th and 29th, respectively.
“They maintained a lot of intensity throughout the day,” Palacio noted about the team’s determination.
“They worked for every touch and, most importantly, they made their opponents work for every single touch. It wasn’t easy for our opponents; they couldn’t just walk all over us.”
It was from the regional results that a qualification committee decided who would compete in the nationals.
Twenty-one fencers from this region advance to the finals, six from foil, seven from epee and eight from sabre.
A maximum of six fencers can be sent from any one school, two from each weapon.
The five Owls advancing will be Shaahid, Hassan, Browne, Remmert and, for the third consecutive year, Forsythe.
Steve Papurt can be reached at email@example.com.