This past weekend, the Hopkins fencing team opened its season as they attended the 41st Annual Temple Open in Philadelphia.
The team standouts were sophomores Diya Kulkarni and William Hu. Kulkarni led a team of seven Blue Jay Épéeist with an impressive 10th place out of 87 fencers, making her the first among all Division-III fencers in the Épée. Her finish is the highest a Hopkins women’s Épéeist has placed since 2016. It is also the sixth top-10 finish in the past decade.
Hu led a team of seven Blue Jay Sabrists, going 11-1 and finishing in a tie for third place. This marks the second straight trip to the Temple Open that the Blue Jays have had a Sabrist finish in the top three.
For the women's Épée, freshman Katelyn McShine finished in 37th, third among D-III fencers. Right behind her, sophomore Maya Zhang placed 41st overall and fifth among D-III fencers. Both went 5-3 in pool play and lost in the round of 64.
Junior Rachel Zhang placed 45th, freshman Ameera Ebrahim tied for 56th, junior Zoe Readi-Brown placed 67th and junior Alex Szewc placed 73rd. Szewc moved into 19th place in Hopkins history with a career total of 62 Épée wins.
In the Foil, sophomore Jasmine Shen placed 27th out of 95 fencers. She placed second among D-III fencers. Junior Alex McDonald placed 43rd, and senior Erika Wong finished 53rd. For Sabre, sophomore Jenny Song placed 34th out of 82, making her third among the D-III fencers. Senior Cherlin Zhu finished in 45th, and sophomore Sanya Bawa finished 51st. Zhu moves into 13th place in Hopkins history with a total of 90 Sabre wins.
For the men, senior Eryk Kokosinski also had a successful meet, placing ninth out of all the Sabrists with a 7-3 record. Junior David DeScherer went 8-2, finishing in 13th, and junior Sachin Mehta’s record of 7-2 resulted in him finishing 19th. Senior Devon Osgood finished in 32nd with a 4-6 record, freshman Jonathan Yao placed 42nd with a 5-4 record and Senior Paul Lam tied for 54th place with an 8-0 record in pool play.
In the Foil, senior Noah Park led the Blue Jays with a 19th place finish out of 73 fencers. Senior Matthew Jacobs finished in 35th place.
Sophomore Gabe Insler tied for 30th in the Épée out of 92 fencers. Freshman Ethan Kim finished close behind in 34th with junior Jeffrey Wang a little further behind in 43rd. Sophomore Julius Dunn tied for 51st, senior Kyle Kennedy tied for 53rd and juniors Danny Comer and Kent Kotaka tied for 73rd and 82nd respectively.
Kulkarni commented on how she felt the competition went after not competing since last year in an interview with The News-Letter.
“I think I did well individually, considering there were a lot of Division-I teams there. I think the team also did a really good job of keeping high spirits and giving it their all throughout the whole day,” she said. “Compared to last year, Temple Open was much more rigorous because we only fenced two schools last year during our big meets. It was a similar tournament set up and felt like a national tournament rather than a college meet.”
She also reflected on her personal short-term and long-term goals, as well as those for the team.
“My short-term goal for this season is to get back into [the] shape that I was in before the pandemic. My long-term goal for myself is to qualify for NCAA and continue to improve through my college years,” she commented. “For the team, I think we can go really far this season. We have really strong upperclassmen and lowerclassmen fencers who I think if we all work together we will have really great results this season.”
The Blue Jays will continue on to compete next at the Columbia Invitational on Nov. 19.