March 8, 2014
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. - (March 8) Air Force crowned three individual champions at the 2014 NCAA West Region Fencing Championships in Pasadena, Calif., today.
Women's Results: The Air Force women crowned two regional champions in foil and saber. In women's foil, sophomore Madeleine Girardot was undefeated (8-0) in pools and won the semifinal bout, 15-2. Teammate sophomore Mary McElwee, 7-1 in pools, also advanced into the semifinals and won her bout 15-1. In the finals it was a face-off between Girardot and McElwee with Girardot winning the title bout 15-5. McElwee became the first runner-up.
Girardot finishes the season with a 37-4 collegiate record. McElwee concludes the season with a 22-4 record.
Freshman Alyssa Hofilena won the women's saber title. After finishing 6-1 in pools, she earned the top seed for the direct elimination round. Fencing against Stanford fencer Alexa Rohan in the finals, Hofilena topped her opponent 15-9 to win the title. Hofilena finishes the season with a 32-8 freshman record.
"We're happy with the efforts of everyone but especially with the results of the morning session and results from women's foil and saber," said Head coach Abdel Salem.
Men's Results: Air Force sophomore Ryan Redhead fought his way from the third seed spot to win the saber title. He started his march to the crown by winning 15-3 over Daniel Wolfson (Stanford) then knocked off junior Emiliano Kaptain (Air Force) 15-11 in the finals. Kaptain finished as the first runner-up in the tournament. Redhead finishes the season 30-11. Kaptain concludes the season 17-18.
Junior Alexander Chiang became the men's foil first runner-up. Chiang advanced to the semifinals after finishing 8-2 in pools. His opponent in the semis was Stephan Aman from Stanford. The two fought a fast-paced bout that ended in a 15-10 victory for the Air Force junior. Chiang then would go against 2012 Olympian Alexander Massialas (Stanford) who was undefeated in pools. In a hard-fought fight to the finish, Chiang lost the bout 15-8.
In the men's epee pools, sophomore James Salem finished in seventh place. Salem ends the season with a 26-14 record. Freshman Elias Johnson finished in ninth place, and sophomore Robert Chado finished 12th. Johnson and Chado end the season 12-25 and 11-20, respectively.
Also in men's saber, senior Emerson Woerner finished eighth overall. He ends his Academy career with a 77-72 collegiate record. Sophomore Matthew Bergstedt finished in 10th place; he is 11-16 for the year.
This tournament determines the West Regional top fencers and the NCAA use the results for selection to the NCAA National Championships; the regional championships are not an open tournament. Air Force will wait for the individual qualifiers for the NCAA National Fencing Championships to be announced.