Fencers rank 16th after Day One of NCAA Fencing Championships

Lev BenAvram and Tony Escueta meet in the first round of competition. (Photo by Michael Matt)
Lev BenAvram and Tony Escueta meet in the first round of competition. (Photo by Michael Matt)

DURHAM, N.C. – Brandeis University men's sabre fencers first-year Lev BenAvram of Bethesda, Maryland, and sophomore Tony Escueta of Grand Prairie, Texas, combined for 11 wins today on the first day of action at the 2023 NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championships at Duke University today. BenAvram posted a 6-7 record on the day, while Escueta went 5-8.

In the first round of action, BenAvram went 3-3, while Escueta was 2-4. The two opened their tournaments with a match against one another, and BenAvram prevailed, 5-2.

Over the course of the rest of the round, both fencers defeated Eyad Marouf from Wayne State. Escueta defeated Ahmed Ferjani of St. John's, 5-1, while BenAvram downed Donghwan Park of Stanford, 5-4.

In the second round, Escueta went 3-1, while BenAvram was 2-2. The Brandeis duo swept William Hu of Johns Hopkins and Justin Petway of NJIT. Escueta added a 5-3 win over Jared Smith of Notre Dame, who is currently in sixth place in the standings.

In the third round, BenAvram finished his day with a win over Brian Kim from University Athletic Association rivals NYU, 5-3. Escueta went 0-3 for the round, as both Judges fell to a pair from Princeton.

Escueta's five wins on Day One were one fewer than his total from his first trip to nationals a year ago. He is currently in 15th place in the overall sabre standings, while Ben Avram is in 13th place. Both are just outside of a top-12 finish that would earn them All-Division All-America status. Each fencer has eight bouts remaining tomorrow, while women's senior Maggie Shealy of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, competes on Saturday and Sunday.

With their 11 points, the Judges ranked in 16th place in the team standings with three days remaining. The Judges sat second among Division III teams, behind only NYU.