A different type of March Madness has consumed fourteen of Temple University’s finest athletes: fencing madness.
The past five weeks have been memorable for Temple’s fencing team, as it has competed almost every weekend, with all eyes on the NCAA Championships at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Temple’s fencing team amazed with a spectacular performance at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals at Drew University, a far cry from last year, when the Owls qualified six fewer fencers from the regional meet.
In 2000, Temple’s highest place was eighth in foil by Jaime Beecher. Along with Beecher’s eighth-place finish was one other top ten finish.
This year was a completely different story, as Temple scored six top-ten finishes in the regional.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional is a qualifier for the NCAA fencing championships. From this meet, only two fencers per weapon are allowed to advance on to the NCAA championship meet.
“It was one of the most successful in years,” Palacio said of the regional meet.
In the epee final, Temple junior Julia Korony finished fifth, freshman Sara Forsythe finished ninth, and Stephanie Sargent finished 11th. In the foil final, senior Gina DeIeso finished sixth, junior Stephanie Izzolino finished ninth, and senior Beecher finished 12th. In the sabre final, sophomore Sakinah Shaahid finished eighth and Aziza Hassan finished 9th.
Of the eight finalists, six Temple fencers have been selected to represent the Mid-Atlantic Region in the NCAA Championships in their respective weapons: DeIeso, Beecher, Forsythe, Korony, and Shaahid. Izzolino was named as an alternate for foil.
Both Palacio and coach Nikke Franke were ecstatic with the end-results.
“(Regionals) was a great performance,” Palacio said. “We are very happy because we worked very hard. Just to be selected was an honor.”