North Carolina’s fencing team stepped up the level of competition this weekend at the North American Cup in Cleveland and held its own against some of the best fencers in the world.
Freshman Evan Philpot placed 24th in the junior men’s sabre and tied for 60th in the Division I men’s sabre, while senior Nate Wiecha placed 37th in the Division I sabre to lead the Tar Heels. Freshman Sarah Hanvy performed the best out of the female fencers, placing 86th in the junior women’s sabre.
Earlier in the season at the Temple Open, the men’s team swept the top three spots in the sabre against collegiate competition. In Cleveland, the increased competition noticeably affected the results, as UNC faced fencers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Egypt and Europe in an Olympic point-scoring event.
“I would say that the weekend went as expected,” coach Ron Miller said. “We knew it was a reality check going into it; the level of competition is probably the best that we’ve fenced.”
As they did in Temple, the Tar Heels dueled their best with the sabre. Every top-64 finish UNC had was in the sabre event, and the sabre results were higher across the board for UNC than the foil and epee events.