February 25, 2008

Randy Alevi Wins Women's Saber at IFA Championship

Feb. 25, 2008

New York, NY - Sophomore Randy Alevi (Old Westbury, NY) became the first Brown fencer to come in first place at the IFA Championships at Columbia on Sunday, winning her championship match in the women's saber with Danielle Kamis of Penn, 15-12. Her victory highlighted a ninth-place finish for the Bears, who rested many injured starters and got some others a tune-up before NCAA Regionals on Sunday.

The IFA format consists of two parts. In the first, fencers are split into A, B, and C strips in each weapon, fencing a round-robin with each other team's representative in that pool. This is the part from which team standings were taken. In the six-weapon team standings, Brown finished ninth with a 67-111 record. Split by gender, the Brown women finished eighth out of 12 teams with a 39-49 mark, while the men placed 10th of 11 teams at 28-62.

The women's saber squad had the top squad placement for Brown, placing third at 21-12 behind Harvard and Penn, as Alevi, junior Deborah Gorth (Amherst, MA), and freshman Aleksandra Mackiewicz (Westwood, MA) all qualified for the individual draw, the second part of the competition. The women's foil and epée squads finished 10th and 12th, respectively, the latter finishing where it did because it had just two fencers competing. For the men, the foil squad placed sixth at 16-14, despite the absence of sophomore Adam Pantel (Mendham, NJ) and freshman Jonathan Yu (Birmingham, AL). The men's epée placed ninth, and the men's saber placed 11th.

In the individual draw, the top eight fencers from the A pools, top five from the B pools, and top three from the C pools were placed in a 16-fencer bracket to compete for individual honors. Eight Bears qualified for this section, in which bouts are first to 15 touches, rather than the usual five. Alevi was the only Brown fencer to advance past the first bout. Entering as the fifth seed after going 6-5 in the "A" group, she easily dispatched Katherine Arden of Yale, 15-6, in the first round. In the second round, she faced Alex Heiss of Cornell, the #4 seed, who had defeated Gorth, 15-11, in the first round. Alevi won that bout 15-9, then beat ninth-seeded Allie Sneider of Harvard, 15-12 to advance to the final, where she defeated Danielle Kamis of Penn, also 15-12.

Joining the three saber fencers in the tableau round were freshman Francesca Bartholomew (Boston, MA) and sophomore Kirsten Lynch (Maplewood, NJ) in the women's foil, junior Nick Bender (New York, NY) and freshman Scott Phillips (Great Neck, NY) in the men's foil, and sophomore Adam Yarnell (Harrison, NY) in the men's epée.

The Bears will hope to have their full roster available this coming weekend for NCAA Regionals, which will be held at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. After a very successful season, Brown will look to improve upon last year's results, when two Bears qualified for the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2003.

More complete results from the IFA championship will be posted here later in the week.