PASADENA (Mar. 7, 2018) – Caltech's men's and women's fencing teams are sending three fencers each to this year's NCAA West Regional Championships, hosted by the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, Calif.
The Beavers are coming off a second-straight IFCSC men's epee championship and could enter this year's regionals with some added momentum. Prior to last year, Caltech had not won an IFCSC weapon championship since 1968. That same men's epee squad will be sending three fencers to La Jolla, including senior Qifan Wang (Surrey, Canada / Semiahmoo Secondary), sophomore Zimo Zhu (Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Adlai E. Stevenson) and sophomore Andrew Chan (Denver, Col. / Littleton), who also qualified as a foilist (though he can only fence one weapon at regionals). All three fencers appeared at last year's Caltech-hosted West Regionals and Wang has now qualified for regionals in each of his four years with the Beavers. Each of Caltech's men's fencers won at least 33 percent of their NCAA bouts this year, with Zhu leading the way at nearly 52 percent.
Newcomers Polina Verkhovodova (Portland, Ore. / Portland Community College) and Cecilia Zhang (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy) are the first-time qualifiers on the women's side and will join junior Mei-Ling Laures (Chicago, Ill. / British International School of Chicago), who returns to the regional competition after qualifying as a freshman. All three fencers qualified at different weapons (Laures- Epee, Verkhovodova - Foil, Zhang - Saber), the first time this has happened on the women's team in recent memory.
The regional championships are set to get underway on Saturday, Mar. 9 at 9 a.m. Fencers who are able to make it out of the regional competition will go on to compete at the 2019 NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.