Three Fencers Reach MACFA Finals, Gauntner Voted Coach of the Year
March 5, 2012
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Three fencers reached the individual finals to lead Lafayette to a seventh-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association Championships on Sunday in Jersey City, N.J. For his team's success, head coach Tom Gauntner '04 was voted by his peers as the MACFA Coach of the Year.
The Leopards finished seventh of 13 teams in a tightly-contested event that saw third place and eighth place separated by less than 25 points.
Épée was the Leopards' strongest school of the day, with Noah Weiner and Everett Glenn both advancing to the individual finals. Weiner wrapped up the afternoon in fifth place overall while Glenn, who won on C-strip to advance to the final, finished in eighth. Andre Rafizadeh placed fourth on B-strip two wins shy of the finals.
Phillip Manna finished third on B-strip in foil en route to a seventh place finish in the individual finals. Jane Liu missed the final by one bout on C-strip, and Zachary Roberts placed 11th on A-strip, which featured the top-tier foilists in the MACFA.
Gauntner, who fenced in sabre and earned a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering as a student-athlete on College Hill, was honored as Coach of the Year for the second time in his five-year career as the Leopards' head coach. Two or more fencers have reached the MACFA individual finals in two of the last three seasons under Gaunter, a feat that had not been accomplished by a Leopard since Gauntner himself and Brendon O'Dea '07 did so in 2004.
The next step for the Lafayette fencers is the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional, which will be hosted by Lafayette College on Saturday, March 10. Seven Leopards have earned seeds in the regional, and as many as 12 additional fencers could take to the strip as alternates. Action from Kirby Sports Center begins at 8 a.m.