WEST POINT, N.Y. -- For the 18th year in a row, Temple fencing, led by legendary head coach Nikki Franke, captured the team title at the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association (NIWFA) Championships on March 1. In addition to the team title, the Owls captured all three squad titles and all three individual titles. This championship was the 86th annual, and it is oldest continuously-contested collegiate championship, in any sport, having begun in 1929.
Seniors Epiphany Georges (foil) and Chantal Montrose (epee) now have the impressive distinction of winning the individual NIWFA title in each year of their four-year careers as Owls. Junior Tiki Kastor took the title in sabre for the first time, helping Temple to sweep all three individual titles at this year's meet in addition to all four of the team titles.
The Owls came out on top in a field of 17 teams to win the Olympians Trophy, with Haverford finishing second, Stevens Institute coming in third and Fairleigh Dickinson taking fourth. Out of the team competition, the top 16 fencers in each weapon are chosen to compete as individuals. Once there, the top eight in each weapon are considered finalists.
While the competition is not the slate of nationally-ranked teams the Owls face for most of the season, Franke said the achievement is no less significant.
"You still have to fence well [to win]," she said. "This was good preparation for the NCAA regionals next weekend. Everyone fenced well and contributed to this victory. It was a great way to end our season in terms of team events, and a great finish to what's been a very good season as a full team. I was pleased with everyone's fencing."
Georges beat out Nadine Abdelaziz from FDU in the gold-medal bout in foil, while teammate and sophomore Olivia Wynn won her first direct elimination bout and finished eighth.
Montrose defeated Haverford's Juliana Petersen in the epee gold-medal bout, while freshman Noelle Baptiste took fourth place in epee.
In the sabre gold-medal bout, Kastor beat Holly Barszcz from Rutgers. Senior Andrea Haley was also a finalist in sabre, and placed eighth.