Jan. 9, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -
Coming off its seventh consecutive top 10 finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships, the Stanford fencing team will look to capitalize on its experience and a strong recruiting class to reach the 2013 NCAA Final Four.
The Cardinal will look for a strong start to its season when it begins this Saturday at the West Invitational Duals hosted at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.
Stanford returns 17 of 24 athletes from last year’s team, including men’s All-Americans Turner Caldwell and Kian Ameli, and women’s All-American Francesca Bassa. Stanford also welcomes freshman Alexander Massialas, who competed for the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Co-head coach Lisa Milgram is confident in the team’s ability to improve on last year’s NCAA finish and is excited about this team’s potential.
“We have multiple All-Americans returning, including a second-place finisher at the 2012 NCAA Championships,” Milgram said. “Our goal this year is to qualify 10 to 12 athletes [to the NCAA Championships], come home with an individual national championship and as always, to win the team national championship – it’s never anything else.”
In leading the Cardinal, Milgram will be joined by co-head coach George Pogossov and assistant coaches Alexander Lepeshinski and Valeriy Naulo.
Pogossov is happy with the team’s preparation and is excited for the season to begin.
“I think it’s the first year of many for our success,” Pogossov said. “We have a nice group with everybody dedicated to fencing, and this year I think we have an especially strong squad.”
Senior captain, Jeremy Klepner, is confident this team is the strongest he’s been a part of during his Stanford career.
“Over the past four years, this is by far the best year and worthy of watching because there’s a lot of potential and that’s really what makes it exciting,” Klepner said.
After taking year off to compete for a spot in the London Olympics, Francesca Bassa returns to anchor the women’s epee squad. She will be joined by freshman Vivian Kong.
“We’re getting Francesca back after she took a year off to train for the Olympic team and she’s really ready to go,” Milgram said.
The women’s sabre squad will be led by Julia Klepner who returns for her sophomore season after finishing 23rd at last year’s NCAA Championships. Former walk-on Atira Richards and freshmen Isabel Gueble and Avery Youngblood will join Klepner.
Sophomore Lily McElwee entered the 2012 season with high expectations and did not disappoint – finishing 20th at the NCAA Championships. She returns for her sophomore campaign with similar expectations and will be joined by classmate Amanda Zerbe and freshman Carly Cohen.
All-American Turner Caldwell will shoulder high expectations after finishing second at last year’s NCAA Championships. It was his second consecutive top 10 finish after a seventh-place result in 2011. Samuel Hansen, Reed Jobs, Jonathan Lee, Justin Lee, Isaac Madan, Alexander Massialas will also compete for the men’s foil squad.
Senior Jeremy Klepner and sophomore Cameron Lindsay will anchor the men’s sabre team after posting top 25 NCAA Championships finishes last year. They will be joined by sophomore Daniel McHugh and freshmen David Beam and Dan Wolfson.
The squad will be led by senior All-American Kian Ameli and Cole Connelly, who finished 21st at last year’s NCAA Championships. Jake Harbour, Kael McInnis and Paul Riviere round out the deep and talented group.
West Invitational Schedule
View 2013 Schedule