The St. Johns University Invitational took place on Jan. 26, as the Red Storm invited some of the top fencing teams in the nation to compete at Carnesecca Arena.
The Red Storm men took second place while the women finished in fourth against the likes of Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Harvard and Columbia.
“I was honestly a little disappointed with our performance,” said St. John’s fencing coach Yury Gelman. “I felt that we were better than we showed today.”
Coach Gelman has high expectations for his team, and anticipates finishing right at the top in the NCAA Tournament.
“We shouldn’t finish any lower than third place,” Gelman said.
All of the teams competing in the annual meet have combined to win every single national championship since the NCAA introduced fencing to college athletics in 1990. The athletes competing are made up of an impressive nine Olympians.
Daryl Homer, one of the afformentioned Olympians was one of the fencers that competed for the Johnnies this past weekend.
Throughout the day, Homer proved why he made the trek to London last summer, as he battled against some of the best fencers in the sport.
However, despite his success, Homer still found time to critique himself.
“I felt I could have done better,” Homer said. “I lost three bouts and if I was more concentrated during those bouts, I could have won them. But overall, I felt I had a good day.”
Homer faced opponents like Columbia University’s Geoffrey Loss in his first match of the day and put him away with a 5-3 victory. When Homer faced off against Ewan Douglas of the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes, he recorded a 5-0 victory.
When Homer found himself down in his final match again the Nittany Lions, he decided to show off his quick feet as well as his ability to fight back when behind, coming back in the match to beat Adrian Bak 5-3.
Homer’s opponent when the Red Storm took on Notre Dame was John Hallsten. Hallsten competed hard but the challenge of a battle- tested Homer was too much for as the Bronx native won 5-2.
In his final match, Homer faced Harvard’s Alexander Ryjik, and in his typical style he quickly and aggressively attacked, beating Ryjik 5-2.
In a phone interview with the Torch, Homer expressed his feelings towards the NCAA Tournament.
“I feel that we are good enough team to be in contention in the NCAA Tournament,” he said. “If we stay concentrated and continue to work hard, I don’t see a reason why we wouldn’t have a successful NCAA Tournament run.”