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Fencing duo heads to Texas

By Ian Guss

Section: Sports

March 10, 2006

The Brandeis Mens Fencing team will be well represented at the 2006 NCAA Championships as Jeremy Simpson 06 and Eugene Vortsman 08 both qualified this past weekend at the Northeast Regional Fencing Championships at Harvard University. Vortsman, who has been one of the most successful fencers for Brandeis this year, finished in fourth position on the mens foil division. Teammate and co-captain, Simpson took home fourth place overall in the mens saber event.

Simpson as the 11th seed was able to upset sixth seed, Alexander Kruk of Columbia University 15-14, and 3rd seeded Justin Bernstein of Vassar College, 15-12. He lost his final two bouts but he already had a guaranteed spot in the Championships.
Simpson, in what may well have been his last fencing meet, couldnt have thought of a better way for his career to draw to a close.

It is an amazing feeling to make it to nationals. I was very nervous coming into the day that I wouldn't make it in my last chance. I just hope to do as well at nationals as I did in regionals. I contribute my success to everyone on the team who helped me through all my struggles and triumphs, he said.

Vortsman, after missing qualifying by one spot last year, had a bye until the round of 16 when he beat Gabe Sinkin of NYU, 15-2 to earn him a spot in the Championships.
This year I was much more determined and driven to make it to nationals, Vortsman said after the match.

Many other Brandeis fencers just fell short of making it to the NCAA Championships. Will Friedman 09, Kai Keller 07 and Jessica Newhall 09 missed qualifying by one position. Caitlin Kozel 09 was two places out. These top finishes show a lot of promise for the team in the future because most of its best fencers are still young.

Both fencers are very eager to compete in the NCAA Championships in Houston, Texas on March 16-19. I think it is very possible for Eugene and me to do very well at nationals, he said.

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