PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Following back-to-back first place finishes at the Big One and Northeast Fencing Conference #1, the Brown fencing team will close out the 2013 calendar year at the Brandeis Invitational in Waltham, Mass., on Sunday. The Bears are slated to begin competition at 12 p.m. against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior captain Kathryn Hawrot (Barrington, R.I.) and freshman Alex Palabrica (Los Angeles, Calif.) went undefeated in women's foil and men's saber, respectively, to help the Brown fencing team go unbeaten at NFC #1 on Nov. 16 at the Olney-Margolies Athletics Center. The women's side swept the competition, 5-0, while the men finished 4-0.
The men's team made headlines by defeating rival Sacred Heart 15-12, after losing to the Pioneers 14-13 for four straight years. The women defeated two teams in the NFC — Wellesley (23-4) and Sacred Heart (14-13) — as well as three out-of-league competitors: UMass (22-5), New Hampshire (23-4) and Boston University (24-3). The men conquered UMass (26-1), UNH (25-2), BU (22-5), and Sacred Heart.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
This weekend's competition pits the Bears against Airforce, Johns Hopkins, MIT and St. John's. Brown has already witnessed Brandeis twice this season, and the hosts posted strong showings by collecting 12 medals at the Big One and a combined 9-2 record at NFC #1.
Air Force comes off an appearance at the North American Cup Division 1 and Junior tournaments on Nov. 11, while Mary McElwee and James Salem partook in international competition on Nov. 30. McElwee finished sixth in women's foil at the 2013 International Fencing Tournament in Bochum, Germany, and Salem took 27th overall in the junior men's epee at the Young Lions Club World Cup.
Johns Hopkins knocked off four of five opponents at the JHU Invitational on Nov. 25, the Engineers earned three medals at the Big One and defeated Boston University, UMass Amherst and New Hampshire at NFC #1, and St. John's heads to Brandeis following the November North American Cup in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brown opens the new year with NFC #2 at Boston College on Jan. 25.