DURHAM, N.C. Ė Five Duke fencers will head to Penn State to compete in the NCAA Championships on March 19-22 in State College, Pa. The group includes women’s saber Becca Ward, men’s foils Dorian Cohen and Dan Cohen, men’s saber Peter Truszkowski and men’s epee Jonathan Parker.
Both Truszkowski and Dorian Cohen will be making their second straight appearance at the NCAA Championships after each notched top-10 finishes and All-America citations in 2008. Ward, Dan Cohen and Parker, all freshmen, will head to the NCAA Championships for the first time. With five qualifier for the NCAA Championship, the 2009 Duke fencing team will send the second-most fencers to the national event in school history.
Ward, in her first season as a Blue Devil, led all Duke fencers with a 53-2 record during the regular season while capturing first place at the Atlantic/South Regionals March 7. A freshman and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Ward ended the regular season on a 28-bout win streak before sweeping the Regional competition in Haverford, Pa. She is the reigning National Co-Fencer of the Week heading into her first NCAA Championship
Dan Cohen and Dorian Cohen, meanwhile, each topped 30 wins to lead the Duke foil squad to a team-best 18-3 record. Dorian notched a fifth-place finish at the Atlantic/South Regionals after going 42-14 during the season and capturing third place at the Junior Olympics on Feb. 18. Dorian, a sophomore, will make his second appearance at the NCAA Championships after notching sixth place at the event as a freshman on the way to All-America honors. Dan, a freshman, is coming off an eighth-place showing at Regionals and a 31-14 record during the regular season. Dan opened his collegiate career by taking first place at the Temple Open on Nov. 17 and has since gone on to post winning marks at every event, including a 9-0 performance at the Duke Home Meet.
Truszkowski, a senior captain, will represent the men’s saber squad while making his third trip to the NCAA Championships. Truszkowski, a two-time All-America, boasts a 163-57 career record after going 36-13 this season. While recently picked to receive the Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship Award, Truszkowski will look to improve on the career-best eighth-place finish that he notched at the 2008 NCAA Championships.
Representing the Duke epee team will be Parker, who turned in a 28-17 record and a fifth-place finish at the Atlantic/South Regionals. Parker, a freshman, opened his collegiate career with a sixth-place finish at the Temple Open on Nov. 17 and recently notched a 30th-place finish at the Junior Olympics. Parker helped the men’s epee team finish 12-6 for the regular season.