WALTHAM, Mass. - The Gosman Athletic Center will play host to one of the most prestigious events in all of college athletics on Saturday when the Brandeis fencing team serves as host of the 2009 Intercollegiate Fencing Association (IFA) championships. The meet begins at 8:30 a.m. and lasts until approximately 5:00 p.m.
An event that dates back to 1894, Brandeis is hosting the 112th edition of the IFA championships. The trophy that is presented to the winner of the men's foil competition is the oldest intercollegiate trophy still contested. Among the 12 teams who will be competing at the IFA championships are four of the top 10 men's and women's squads in the most recent United States Fencing Coaches Association national poll. The squads from the University of Pennsylvania (#4 men, #6 women), Columbia University (#5 men and women), Princeton University (#6 men, #10 women) and Harvard University (#9 men, #4 women) will be joined by teams from host Brandeis, Boston College, Brown University, Cornell University, MIT, New York University, Vassar College and Yale University.
Columbia earned the 2008 combined championship and the men's three-weapon title, while Pennsylvania was the women's three-weapon champion. Individually, the field will contain seven former champions, including all three defending champions on the women's side: Jasjit Bhinder of Princeton in the epee, Randy Alevi of Brown in the saber and two-time defending champion Misha Goldfeder of Harvard in the foil. The women's foil field also includes 2008 Olympian Emily Cross, who won the event as a sophomore in 2006. On the men's side, Graham Wicas of Princeton in the epee and Jeff Spear of Columbia are defending champions, while Kurt Getz of Columbia was the 2007 titlist in the foil competition.
Brandeis, which won its first-ever IFA trophy in men's epee in 2007, will be well-represented at the championships. The Judges' top performers include sophomore saber Anna Hanley of Lexington, Mass., who was recently named the Northeast Fencing Conference Women's Fencer of the Year, and senior foil Will Friedman of Newton, Mass., who was the Judges' first All-American on the men's side since Olympic medalist Tim Morehouse '00 in 2000.
For more information on Brandeis athletics, please visit our web site at http://www.brandeisjudges.com.