U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, COLO. (March 10, 2012) - Air Force Academy fencing put on a strong showing Saturday, at the NCAA Western Regionals at host school, Stanford University. The Academy had two fencers, senior Phillip Choy (men's foil) and junior Chase Houser (men's epee), receive a recommendation to qualify to the NCAA Championships. Air Force, Stanford, UC San Diego and Cal Tech competed in an all-day competition on The Farm. Recommendations will be submitted to the NCAA national committee with a formal announcement expected Tuesday.
"We are disappointed that we could not have an outright qualifier for nationals, but we did get two of our men receive recommendations, and that's good for the team," said Head coach Abdel Salem. "Phil Choy did a good job as team captain this year, and he had good results at the regionals, which makes me very proud," said Salem.
The Academy women suffered a disappointing day, Saturday, for the first time in four years, the team was unable to place a qualifier to the NCAAs. The women's saber team was defended by senior Saskia Hicks who finished a respectable sixth place. In women's foil, freshman Lydia Hill took third in her first regional championship. Senior Christina Jung finished in seventh place. Sophomore Olivia Prosseda finished in fifth place in the women's epee competition. The women's placements were strong, but not enough to earn a qualifier. Individual bout records were not available at the time of this posting.
"Our women fought hard to get where they are," said Salem. "Our women finished in the top 8 of their events and they should be very proud of that. Saskia Hicks has come a long way and this time she finished two places higher than in 2011. Lydia finished third and that's good, especially since she is a freshman, which means she will excel in future competitions. I am sad that CJ, our women's team captain, will be leaving us with graduation. I will miss her," continued Salem.