Natanzon Takes Silver in Team Saber at the 2017 National Fencing Championships & July Challenge

Rising senior Ally Ryf
July 5, 2017

2017 USA Fencing Championships & July Challenge Results
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QUEENS, N.Y. – The Red Storm was well represented this past weekend at the National Fencing Championships & July Challenge held in Salt Lake City, as Ben Natanzon claimed silver in team saber and placed fifth in Division I men’s individual saber. Ally Ryf was excellent on the strip to earn a sixth place finish, a career-best, in women’s epee.

Fencing for the No. 1 seed Dream Team MFC, Natanzon and his squad had a bye in the table of 32 and cruised past their first opponent, 45-16, to advance to the table of 16. After three straight victories for Dream Team MFC, it earned them a spot in the finals against the No. 2 seed Boston Fencing Club. Natanzon won 12 touches in the finals, but the team came up just short in a 45-44 loss to take silver.

In the division I men’s saber competition, Natanzon dominated his opponents, winning all six of his pool play bouts and outscoring them by 21 touches to earn the top seed heading into table play.

The Manalapan, N.J., native defeated his first three foes to advance to the table of eight for the second-straight year. Facing Julian Merchant in the quarterfinals, Natanzon fell short, 15-12, to finish in fifth place.

Ryf, a rising senior from Houston, went 5-1 in pool play in Division I women’s epee and earned the No. 3 seed. She continued her stellar fencing in table play to win three consecutive bouts to move into the table of eight, before falling to eventual silver medalist Giana Vierheller. Ryf finished in sixth place for her highest ever placing at a USA Division I fencing event.

Curtis McDowald rolled through pool play with five victories in Division I men’s epee and picked up a bye in the table of 128. McDowald took on St. John’s teammate Sean White in the table of 64 and White came away with a 15-11 victory, but fell in the next round. White finished in 28th and McDowald came in 35th place.

Competing in both Division I and Division I-A men’s saber, Deniz Berkay finished in 53rd and 43rd place, respectively, as he picked up seven wins over the weekend.

Red Storm fencing alum and former national epee champion, Isis Washington placed 10th after advancing to the table of 16. Fencing for the Peter Westbrook Foundation in team epee, Washington led her squad to a seventh place finish.

The largest fencing tournament in the world, the National Fencing Championships & July Challenge drew an estimated 4,222 fencers from 47 different states.

Below is a summary of results from the USA Fencing Championships & July Challenge:

Men’s Epee
Sean White: (Division I) 28th
Curtis McDowald: (Division I) 35th

Men’s Saber
Ben Natanzon: 5th (Division I), 2nd (Team)
Deniz Berkay: 53rd (Division I), 43rd (Division I-A)

Women’s Epee
Isis Washington (alum): 10th (Division I) 7th (Team)
Ally Ryf: 6th (Division I)




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