Denison Competes in the Midwest Fencing Conference Champions
The Denison fencing team, under English professor and coach Peter Grandbois, competes in the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships.
On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26, the young Denison Men’s Fencing Team made history by competing in their first Midwest Fencing Conference Championships. They placed 17 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 Div I varsity powerhouses, such as Ohio State University , University of Detroit, and Cleveland State, as well as Div III varsity teams like Lawrence University and club teams from schools as diverse as the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Purdue.
Day one of the competition is an individual event that determines seeding for the team event on day two. Sophomore George Malloch Brown led the mostly freshman and sophomore squad by placing 18 out of a 72-fencer field in foil. Sophomore sabreist Charlie Lu and junior epeeist Robert Templehof also shone with 30 (out of 62) and 49 (out of 80) placements respectively.
On day two, the Denison foil squad made up of Malloch Brown and freshmen Clem Pearson and Gavin Thomas took out the University of Iowa in a hard fought 5-4 match where every fencer contributed, before losing to Div III varsity Lawrence University. Lawrence went on to finish third in men’s foil.
The sabre squad made up of Charlie Lu and sophomores Daniel Timmins and Edwin St. Hilaire, along with freshman Dylan Tallman, beat the University of Wisconsin, Madison 5-4 before falling to Div I varsity University of Detroit, Mercy, who also went on to place third.
The epee squad made up of Templehof and freshmen Will Ackermann, John Fernow, and Federico Read Grullon drew a tough Northwestern University in the first round of direct elimination and were knocked out early. Despite the disappointing team losses, Coach 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. Further, I’m looking forward to taking a women’s team next year. We are recruiting women and welcome walk-ons with no previous experience.” The fencing club meets Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Fridays from 4-6 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room on the second floor of Mitchell.