UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2018 National Collegiate Fencing Championships came to a close Sunday at Penn State with the University of California San Diego placing 14th of 27 teams. Individually, senior David Hadler earned All-America honors with his 11th-place finish, while freshman Zach Kravitz was 15th.
UC San Diego totaled 42 points during the four-day event. The 14th-place finish matched its 2017 performance, which was the team's best since placing 13th in 2008.
For finishing among the top-12 foilists in the country, Hadler earned All-America honors for the second time in his career. It was his fourth-straight appearance at the NCAA Championships. In 2017, he finished a career-best 10th, while he was 14th as a freshman and 20th as a sophomore.
"Being able to go all four years has absolutely been a privilege," said Hadler. "I consider myself very lucky to have enjoyed four full NCAA seasons representing UC San Diego. It's always been a goal of mine to be an All-American and I'm happy to have accomplished that twice. I'm thankful for all of my coaches, teammates, family, and friends who have supported me throughout this journey."
Hadler went 11-11 over 22 bouts between Saturday and Sunday. He had 87 touches scored and 85 touches against, good for a +2 indicator.
Hadler's victories came against NYU's Philip Shin (5-2), Harvard's Geoffrey Tourette (5-3), Penn State's Sebastiano Bicego (5-3), Duke's Eoin Gronningsater (5-3), St. John's' Andras Nemeth (5-2), Yale's Cameron Allen (5-2), Columbia's Sidarth Kumbla (5-3), Brian Swicegood (5-4) of Air Force, Ohio State's Stas Sudilovsky (5-3), Princeton's Julian Knodt (5-3), and Stanford's Lucas Orts (5-2).
"I definitely underperformed," said Hadler. "There were lots of matches that came down to one point. Had I stayed focused, I could have placed in the top-eight or top-four. Consistency is something I need to work on because at a tournament like this with the top-24 in the country, there is no room for error. You have to stay focused and tactical at every moment."
Kravitz, an epeeist, had 11 victories and 12 defeats. He scored 81 touches with 98 against for a -17 indicator.
Kravitz logged wins against Penn State's Anton Piskovatskov (5-4), Sacramento State's Dante Centeno (5-4), NYU's Ian Sanders (5-4), Columbia's Gabe Canaux (5-3), Incarnate Word's Alexander Sless (5-2), Notre Dame's Ariel Simmons (5-4), Duke's Bryn Hammarberg (5-4), Penn's Sean Wilson (5-1) and Justin Yoo (5-4), Harvard's Charlie Horowitz (5-4), and Curtis McDowald of St. John's.
Notre Dame's Nick Itkin won the foil national championship, while Ohio State's Marc-Antoine Blais is the epee title-winner and Eli Dershwitz of Harvard won the saber crown.
Notre Dame led from beginning to end and defended its team championship. The Irish finished with 185 points. Columbia (170) was second and Ohio State (147) placed third.
The five NCAA Championships qualifiers are the most for UC San Diego since the same number of Tritons were selected in 2009.
At the National Collegiate Championships, fencers compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four finishers in each weapon fence in semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners facing off to determine first and second places, and the non-advancing fencers being awarded a tie for third place. An institution’s place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships.
The UCSD men and women are receiving votes in the most recent CollegeFencing360.com national poll.