POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The Brandeis University fencing team put two competitors among the top 10 in their weapon at this weekend's NCAA Northeast Regional meet at Vassar.
On the men's side, rookie foil fencer Julian Cardillo (Medford, Mass./St. Johns Prep) had the best performance of any Brandeis fencer. Cardillo, the 2011 Northeast Fencing Conference Fencer of the Year, was seeded ninth headed into the championships and improved two places to finish seventh overall and secure one of the Northeast region's automatic bids to the 2011 NCAA National Collegiate championships next weekend at the Ohio State University. Cardillo went 4-2 in the first round of pool play and 5-1 in the second round to qualify for the finals in the second position. In the final round, he went 6-5, tied with two others for fifth overall and placing seventh based on touch differential. Among his victories in the final round were wins over opponents from Brown, Columbia, St. John's Sacred Heart, NYU and Yale.
The Brandeis women's team had a top performance in the epee from another rookie, Leah Mack (Tarrytown, N.Y./Irvington). The tournament's 19th seed, Mack vaulted all the way to 10th in the standings. Mack went 3-3 in each of her first two pools of action to advance, then had three more wins in the final bracket, earning 10th place based on indicators. Her top wins of the meet came against the sixth-place finisher from Harvard and the seventh-place finisher from Cornell.
The Judges had one other fencer qualify for the final round on the day, junior Alex Powell (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) in the men's epee. Seeded 16th headed into the weekend, Powell ended up finishing 12th overall. Powell also went 3-3 in each of his first two rounds, though all three of his defeats in the semifinals were by scores of 5-4, as were two of his three victories. Among Powell's wins was a one-touch triumph over fourth-place finisher James Hawrot of Harvard. He won just one bout in the final round, but is still up for an at-large berth to the national championships, which will be announced on Tuesday.
The other top performers in each weapon for the Judges were senior Adam Austin (Dix Hills, N.Y./Commack), who was 13th in the men's saber; sophomore Vikki Nunley (Glen Gardner, N.J./Voorhees), who was 16th in the women's foil; and sophomore Zoe Messinger (Upper Montclair, N.J/Montclair), who was 17th in the women's saber.