BALTIMORE, Md. - Duke freshman saber Charles Copti finished 12th at the 2013 Junior Olympics, marking the second straight year that a Duke fencer has recorded a top-16 finish at the national event.
Copti reached the round of 16 after starting the day a perfect 5-0 in round one's pool matchups and winning all three of his bouts in the round two bracket. A native of Wyckoff, N.J., Copti defeated 20th-seeded Derek Weix 15-8 to reach the round of 16 before falling, 15-10, to eventual third-place finisher Adam Lewicki.
"Of course I wish I progressed a little further, but overall a 12th-place finish is very respectable in a field of 162 fencers," Copti said. "My focus now will be to take what I've learned from this weekend and apply it to next weekend where Duke will be fencing our hardest meet of the year at Temple."
In the opening round, Copti rolled through his pool, leading all fencers in his group with 25 touches scored while surrendering a pool-low 12 touches. In round two, he drew a first-round bye and went on to defeat Daniel Kofman (15-11), Deniz Berkay (15-10) and Weix to reach the round of 16.
Copti's performance comes on the heels of Blue Devil Dylan Nollner's outing at the 2012 Junior Olympics when the then-sophomore epee won the silver medal and a spot on the US Junior World Team.
Copti and the Blue Devils return to action next weekend at the Temple Duals on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Blue Devils will then have two weeks to prepare for NCAA Regionals on March 9 followed by the NCAA Championships on March 21-24.