Denison Competes in the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships
On February 25 and 26, 2017, the young Denison men’s fencing team made history by competing in its first Midwest Fencing Conference Championships. Denison placed 17th out of 23 teams, overall, and finished ahead of rival Oberlin College. The Midwest Fencing Conference is different from other athletic conferences in that it includes Division I varsity powerhouses such as Ohio State University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Cleveland State, as well as Division III varsity teams like Lawrence University and club teams from schools as varied as the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Purdue.
The first day of the competition is an individual event that determines seeding for the team event on the second day. Sophomore George Malloch-Brown led the squad, composed primarily of first-years and sophomores, by placing 18th out of a 72-fencer field in foil. Sophomore sabreist Charlie Lu and junior epeeist Robert Templehof also shone placing 30th (out of 62) and 49th (out of 80), respectively.
On day two, the Denison foil squad made up of Malloch-Brown and first-years Clem Pearson and Gavin Thomas took out the University of Iowa in a hard fought 5-4 match where every fencer contributed, before bowing to the varsity squad from Lawrence, who went on to finish third in men’s foil.
The sabre squad made up of Lu and sophomores Daniel Timmins and Edwin St. Hilaire, along with first-year Dylan Tallman, defeated the University of Wisconsin-Madison by a 5-4 score before falling to the varsity from Detroit Mercy, who also went on to place third.
The epee squad, made up of Templehof and first-years Will Ackermann, John Fernow, and Federico Read Grullon, drew power Northwestern University in the first round of direct elimination and were knocked out early. Despite the disappointing team losses, Denison coach Peter Grandbois said he couldn’t be more proud, adding, “To place 17th out of 23 extremely experienced teams is quite an accomplishment for these young athletes. I have no doubt that within a year or two they will be placing in the top eight as a team and that we will have a few fencers qualify for All-Conference.”