The 1988 Columbia men's fencing team had one the most
successful collegiate fencing seasons in program history.
Under the direction of co-head coaches George Kolombatovich
and Aladar Kogler, and assistant coach Joel Gluksman, the 1988 team saw
enormous success, fencing their way to a second consecutive NCAA Championship,
an Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championship and an Ivy League
The Lions finished the 1988 season with a perfect 13-0 mark,
including an unbeaten 5-0 Ivy League record, to win Columbia's third
consecutive Ivy League title. As
defending champions, all eyes were on Columbia at 1988 NCAA Fencing
Championships. On the first day of
competition, March Kent won the individual foil, starting the Lions off on the
Bob Cottingham followed suit on the second day of
competition with an individual sabre title.
On the final day of competition, Jon Normile won the individual epee
with a 10-2 victory over Notre Dame's Todd Friffey to complete a sweep of the
individual crowns for the Lions.
Columbia finished with a perfect 90 points. It was the first time in 27 years that one
school won all three events at the NCAA Championships.
Individually, the three NCAA Champions - Cottingham, Kent,
and Normile - were named NCAA Fencers of the Year and earned All-America
status. Columbia added three more to the
All-America team, with Chris Reohr (Men's Sabre), Bill Mindel (Men's foil), and
Marc Oshima (Men's Epee) earning the distinction. Cottingham and Ivan Fernandez- Madrid (Men's
Foil) were also IFA Individual Champions that season.
In the Ivy League, the Lions claimed six of the then first
team All-Ivy League spots. In the foil,
Bill Mindel earned his fourth first team selection after dueling his way to an
impressive 12-3 mark. Marc Kent (11-4)
and Ivan Fernandez-Madrid (10-5) represented Columbia foil as second team
All-Ivy League picks.
The epee team was led by Jon Normile, a first team All-Ivy
League selection, who finished with a 13-2 record against League foes. Marc Oshima was also named to the epee first
Columbia swept all three of the sabre All-Ivy League first
team selections. Bob Cottingham garnered
his fourth selection with a perfect 12-0 mark to lead the honorees. Chris Reohr and Jon Abbey also earned first
team honors with 14-1 and 12-3 records respectively.
The Lions defeated 12 of their 13 opponents by double
digits. The closes bout of the season
was versus Penn State, which Columbia won 15-12.