LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego fencing team finished the 2010 NCAA West Regional Saturday with two first-place foil finishes from Michael Fong
and Pilar Alicea
. Also among the host Tritons, Chris Bonner
took second in the sabre while Victoria Mo
captured third in the epee.
Fong, a sophomore from Santa Clara, improved on his performance at the 2009 regional event in Palo Alto where he took second. Fong won this year's championship in a commanding final bout against Air Force Academy's Nicholas Stockdale, winning by a score of 15-7.
Alicea, a senior out of San Francisco, also raised her level up a notch after a second-place performance in the 2009 regional. On Saturday, in a rematch of last year's gold medal match, Alicea topped Stanford's Jessica Wacker by a score of 15-10.
By virtue of their first-place finishes, Fong and Alicea are guaranteed spots in the NCAA National Fencing Championships, which will be held from March 25-28 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
The two other medal winning performances for the Tritons Saturday came in men's sabre and women's epee. In sabre, Bonner fenced heroically in elimination bouts against two Stanford All-Americans. He defeated Lucas Jansen 15-10 before falling to Max Murphy in a tight 15-12 bout. In epee, Mo lost to Air Force Academy's Simone Barrette, but went on to defeat Stanford's Ashley Titan in the bronze medal bout, by a score of 15-13.
On the day, Stanford and Air Force also captured two first-place finishes each. The Cardinal squad took first in men's sabre and women's epee while the Falcons placed first in women's sabre and men's epee.