MILWAUKEE - Columbia University fencing continued to dominate on a national scale last weekend as Columbia junior and London Olympian Nzingha Prescod took home the Milwaukee Division I North American Cup Title for women's foil.
Overall, 14 Lions earned coveted top 32 finishes, which qualifies them for the United States National Division I Championships to be held in 2013.
"I am really excited about the win, mostly because my fencing in Milwaukee felt much better than at the last two national tournaments," said Prescod, who earned her first gold medal at a NAC since 2010. "It's definitely a confidence booster for the upcoming NCAA and World Cup seasons."
Seeded first out of the pools, Prescod drew a pair of veteran fencers in her first two direct elimination bouts, but soared through the rounds with ease.
Prescod kicked off the competition in the table of 64 with a 15-5 victory over 57-year-old Bonnie Henig of Simsbury, Conn. She continued to roll in her next bout with a 15-3 win over 2012 Veteran World Team member Ursula Szpak of Trophy Club, Texas.
In the table of 16, Prescod faced a familiar face in Columbia teammate Jackie Dubrovich. Prescod earned the win, 15-8, and continued with a close 15-12 defeat over Niki McKee (Valley Stream, N.Y.) in the quarterfinal round.
Prescod used a gutsy performance to edge Notre Dame fencer Madison Zeiss (Notre Dame, Ind.), who nearly produced an upset before Prescod prevailed with an 11-10 victory.
Fencing for gold, Prescod met once again met a Columbia teammate, this time Margaret Lu, who was the gold medal winner of the Junior Foil World Cup earlier this season.
With the score tied at three touches each, Prescod went on a 5-1 run to finish the first period with a 9-4 advantage. In the second period, Prescod pushed her lead to 12-4, but Lu scored three more to close the gap to 12-7.
Prescod then scored the next two touches and gave up just two more before ultimately winning the bout, 15-9.
LIONS IN THE TOP 32:
Division I Men's Foil (114 fencers)
14th - Harry Bergman
Men's Sabre Division I (100 Fencers)
6th- Jeff Spear (Alumni)
16th - Will Spear
Women's Epee Division I (113 fencers)
31st - Natalie Gegan
Men's Epee Division I (197 Fencers)
5th - Dwight Smith (alumni)
21st - Lorenzo Casertano (alumni)
30th Justin Wan