CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Columbia fencing team kicked off the 2013-14 season with a strong showing at the first North American Cup of the year, held November 8-11. Nzingha Prescod and Geoffrey Loss led the Lions with gold medal performances in their respective weapons, while a total of 21 current Columbia team members and eight alumni placed in the top 32.

A top-32 finish in a North American Cup event qualifies a fencer for the United States National Division I Championships, which will be held in 2014.

"It was great to see our team young team achieve such amazing results at such a strong competition as the North American Cup," said Columbia head coach Michael Aufrichtig. "It gets me excited for our home opener on November 22nd."

In a rematch of the gold medal final from the Division I National Championships last April, Prescod battled it out with former Columbia and 2012 Olympic teammate, Nicole Ross (‘13CC).

Prescod, who enters the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and No. 8 in the world for women’s foil, earned her third gold medal of the year with a 15-11 victory over Ross. She also won both Grand Prix and National Championship titles in 2013 and finished third in the Ivy League championships.

Prescod went 6-0 in the pools and entered the table of 128 in a three-way tie for the first seed with teammates Margaret Lu and Jackie Dubrovich, who also fenced well, finishing fifth and ninth, respectively.

Loss set a new career-best as fenced his way to gold in the junior sabre competition. He earned the final victory by a 15-9 score over John Hallsten of Notre Dame. Last season, Loss nearly medaled at the Croatia Junior Worlds with an impressive fourth-place finish as the U.S. Men’s saber team advanced to the medal rounds for the first time since 2010.

In Division I men’s sabre, former Columbia standout Jeff Spear ‘10CC earned bronze, while his younger sibling, junior Will Spear, finished sixth. On the women’s sabre side, current Director of Fencing Operations, Daria Schneider ‘10CC, finished in sixth place.

Other impressive performances by the Lions included a bronze medal by sophomore Adam Mathieu and fifth-place finish by first-year Drew Johnston (junior men’s foil), and a bronze medal by first-year Jessie Laffey (junior women’s foil). A complete list of top-32 Columbia performances can be found below.


Division I Results
Division I Women’s Foil (127 Fencers)
1stNzingha Prescod
2ndNicole Ross (‘13CC)
5thMargaret Lu
8th – Anne Marsh-Senic (‘94CC)
9thJackie Dubrovich
15thSara Taffel
24thJessie Laffey

Division I Women’s Epee (170 Fencers)
30thMason Speta

Division I Women’s Sabre (123 Fencers)
6thDaria Schneider (‘10CC)
24thLoweye Diedro (‘13CC)

Division I Men’s Foil (192 Fencers)
18thAdam Mathieu

Division I Men’s Sabre (178 Fencers)
3rd – Jeffrey Spear (‘10CC)
6thWill Spear
8thMichael Costin
14thGeoffrey Loss
28thRienzi Gokea

Division I Men’s Epee  (310 Fencers)
17th – Lorenzo Casertano (‘09CC)
25th – Jon Normile (‘86CC)
29th –- Dwight Smith (‘09CC)

Junior Results
Junior Men’s Foil (174 Fencers)
3rdAdam Mathieu
5thDrew Johnston

Junior Men’s Epee (204 Fencers)
8thMartin Ridge
18thJustin Wan

Junior Men’s Sabre (143 Fencers)
1stGeoffrey Loss
17thChris Ahn
29thMichael Costin

Junior Women’s Foil (132 Fencers)
3rdJessie Laffey
18thSara Taffel

Junior Women’s Epee (145 Fencers)
23rdMason Speta