Two of Temple’s fencers will join 142 competitors at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Freshman Safa Ibrahim and junior Fatima Largaespada were chosen by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee on Tuesday to compete March 19-22 at French Fieldhouse at Ohio State.
Ibrahim topped off her stellar season by finishing eighth last weekend in the Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. The epeeist now looks ahead to the national championships as she faces 23 other fencers in her squad.
After battling a back injury that kept her in limited action during the first half of the season, Largaespada is making her third appearance in the national meet. The foilist said she knew she would be selected after she earned a fourth-place ranking in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional competition last weekend.
“After my performance at regionals, I was really, really happy with the way I did,” Largaespada said. “If I would have done bad, I probably would have been on the list to stand by, but after I saw how I ranked during the season I thought, ‘OK, I can work with it. I know I can qualify again and I just have to focus.’”
Largaespada acknowledges that she still feels a bit of pain from the back injury, but she said it is not as bad as it used to be.
“I have been going to therapy,” Largaespada said. “I got MRIs done, so I tried to get better as soon as I could and it worked.”
The junior will compete against 23 of the best foilists in the nation, but Largaepada looks to accomplish a goal she had set in the beginning of the season.
“I hope to make the Top 15 at nationals,” Largaepada said. “I just have to stay focused.”
Round-robin competition will start off the tournament, in which the Top 4 finishers in each squad will face off in the semi-finals. The winners will then compete for the title in each weapon class.