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Yale Competes in the Garret Open

Jenny Zhao (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Jenny Zhao (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

As Yale celebrated their first win against Harvard at The Game since 2006, Yale Women's Fencing was over 400 miles away competing at Penn State's Garret Open.

The Garret Open is different from Yale's regular season meets in that it does not count for NCAA rankings. It is also an individual tournament, meaning that each fencer is judged solely on her own bouts. Fencers compete in a series of pools, with competitors eliminated at the end of each round. Once the top 16 is determined, the remaining fencers compete in a direct-elimination bracket.

Eleven Yale fencers participated in three events (women's saber, foil and epee). For the first time in recent memory, every Yale fencer made it past the first round. Captain and epeeist Katherine Miller was thrilled with the results. "I was really proud of the team's showing today – every single member of the team had some key wins and fought hard through this grueling competition."

The Garret Open also marked the first time all four of the Bulldogs's freshmen competed together. Freshmen epeeists Michelle Li and Michelle Nam placed 10th and 14th, respectively. Freshman foilist Anna Zhou finished 12th, while teammate Sam Wood took 26th in the same event.

Wood said that she "really enjoyed fencing with such a talented group of competitors," and that it was a valuable learning experience.

Zhou noted how supportive the team was, particularly during senior saber fencer Joanna Lew's quarterfinal bout. Lew finished in fifth place, marking her best ever result at the Garret Open. Other notable performances included sophomore epeeist Lucy Friedmann's 12th place result, and sophomore Sarah Pak fencing her way to 15th in women's foil.

After Thanksgiving break, the Bulldogs will head to the Brandeis Invitational on December 4th, where they will fence a number of top teams, including St. John's and UNC.