Emily Jacobson ’08 defeated Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis of Notre Dame in the gold-medal match in Houston on March 20 to win the NCAA women’s saber championship and become Columbia’s first NCAA champion fencer since Tzu Moy ’91 won the women’s foil in 1990.
Jacobson led Columbia to a fifth-place finish in the team competition, best among Ivy League schools, three points ahead of Harvard. Notre Dame captured the NCAA team crown.
“I had never fenced a tournament like this before,”
said Jacobson, who was in third place after the first day of the
competition but defeated Valerie Providenze of Notre Dame to earn
a place in the finals. “I was a little more comfortable with
the format by the second day. Once I start fencing, I want to win
no matter what.”
Morgan Midgley ’08 joined Jacobson as a first-team All-American, finishing third in epee. Emma Baratta ’06 finished eighth in saber and made the second team, while Cassidy Luitjen ’07 and Alexie Rubin ’07 Barnard earned honorable mention, both in foil.
On the men’s side, Alex Krul ‘07 (saber) and Scott Sugimoto ’07 (foil) were second-team All-Americans and Paul Reyfman ’05 (saber) received honorable mention.
In Ivy competition, Columbia’s men’s team tied Harvard for the Ivy title, the fifth straight season in which the Lions have won or shared the crown, and the women’s team finished second behind the Crimson.
Columbia’s winter sports highlights weren’t confined to fencing, a sport in which the school traditionally ranks among the nation’s best. Matt Palmer ’07, who wrestles at 165 pounds, became Columbia’s first All-American wrestler since Dave Galdi ’82E in 1982 when he finished eighth in the NCAA championships in St. Louis on March 18, despite suffering a broken hand late in the competition and having to forfeit his final match.
“What he did was remarkable,” said wrestling coach
Brendan Buckley. “I wish he could have finished the tournament.
To be an All-American as a sophomore is a remarkable achievement.”
And Caroline Bierbaum ’06 earned second place in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA indoor track and field championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 11, the best finish ever by a Columbia student-athlete at the NCAA indoors. She covered the distance in 15:52.53, finishing 21–2 seconds behind Ida Nilsson of Northern Arizona. Ron Furcht ’71, who finished third in the 35-pound weight throw in 1971, had held the previous top placing for a Columbian.
Bierbaum, a cross-country All-American in the fall season, won the 5,000 meters at the Indoor Heptagonals and finished second in the 3,000 meters.
ALL-IVY: Congratulations to the following student-athletes
who earned All-Ivy honors during the 2004-05 winter season:
Second Team: Caroline Bierbaum ’06, women’s track
and field (3,000 meters); Hilary Bontz ’05, women’s
track and field (mile); Ben Collins ’05E, men’s swimming
(200-yard individual medley); Grace Coyle ’05, women’s
diving (three meters); Karl Dusen ’05, men’s track and
field (5,000 meters); Luka Lazic ’06E, men’s fencing
(foil); Cassidy Luitjen ’07, women’s fencing (foil);
Morgan Midgley ’08, women’s fencing (epee); Mike Nelson
’07, men’s swimming (200-yard breaststroke); Matt Preston
’05, men’s basketball; Ricky Turk ’07, wrestling
(149 lbs.); and Tobin White ’07, men’s swimming (100
ACADEMIC ALL-IVY: Further congratulations to the 10 student-athletes who earned Academic All-Ivy honors for the 2005 winter season. Each was a starter or key reserve in his or her sport and maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better. They are Emma Baratta ’06, Paul Reyfman ’05 and Jeremy Sinkin ’05, fencing; Caroline Bierbaum ’06, Caryn Waterson ’05 and Tenke Zoltani ’06, track and field; Ben Collins ’05E, Grace Coyle ’05 and Tobin White ’07, swimming and diving; and Jeff Sato ’06, wrestling.