Three Judges reach finals at NCAA Northeast Regional Fencing Championships

Ben Rogak '23, Tony Escueta '25, Maggie Shealy '23 (photos by / Jan Volk)
Ben Rogak '23, Tony Escueta '25, Maggie Shealy '23 (photos by / Jan Volk)

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Brandeis University fencing team sent three fencers to the final pool today at the 2022 NCAA Northeast Regional championships at Vassar College.

Leading the way was junior saber fencer Maggie Shealy (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) on the women's side, who reached the finals for the second time in her career. Shealy entered the regionals as the 12th seed and exceeded her seed by one spot, finishing 11th overall. She went 5-1 in the opening round, earning the sixth spot into the semifinal round. In the semis, she was 4-2 with wins over opponents from Cornell, Columbia, Harvard and Brown to earn a spot in the final round, again in the sixth spot. Shealy went 3-8 in the final round, picking up win over the second-place finisher from Columbia, the fourth-place finisher from Yale and the 12th-place finisher from Harvard.

On the men's side, first-year saber fencer Tony Escueta (Grand Prairie, Texas / Abeka Home School Academy) entered the meet as the 11th season and fenced exactly to his position, finishing 11th. Escueta went 3-3 in the first round, topping the group of 3-win fencers with a plus-four indicator to place 16th to advance to the semifinals. In the semis, he went 5-1 with two wins over Columbia fencers, plus wins over NYU, St. John's and Yale to make the finals in the fifth position. Though he picked up just two wins in the finals, one came against the fourth-place finisher from Columbia.

In the men's epee, junior Ben Rogak (East Setauket, N.Y. / Ward-Melville) came in as the 21st seed and reached the finals for the second time in his career. Rogak went 4-2 in the first round to advance to the semifinals in the 13th slot. In the semifinals, wins over BC, Harvard, St. John's and Columbia gave Rogak  4-2 record, advancing him to the finals in the seventh position. In a highly-competitive group, he earned wins over the fifth-place finisher from Yale, the sixth-place finisher from BC and the 10th-place finisher from Columbia, finishing in 12th place.

Shealy, Escueta and Rogak will learn their fate for the NCAA Championships on Tuesday. Shealy was selected to attend the 2020 championships before they were cancelled due to COVID, while Rogak has been chosen as an alternate in 2020.

In the other weapons:

  • First-year Bronwyn Rothman-Hall (San Francisco, Calif. / Ruth Asawa School of the Arts) placed 24th in women's epee, going 3-2 in the preliminary round and 2-4 in the first round to miss out on the semifinals by one win;
  • Sophomore Luke Ritchie (Baltimore, Md. / St. Paul's School) was 28th in the men's foil, going 2-4 in the first round, missing out on a chance to advance with a minute-10 indicator;
  • And first-year Alex McKee (Nyack, N.Y. / Nyack) took 32nd place in the women's foil, going 2-2 in the preliminary round to make it to the first round, where she went 0-6              

The Judges will hope to be represented by Shealy, Escueta and Rogak at the NCAA National Collegiate Championships, which will be held March 24-27 at the Castellan Family Fencing Center at the University of Notre Dame.