Day 1 is behind us, Columbia leads with 56 wins, and not too many surprises after day 1, other than how off Leland Guillemin’s picks were.
- As expected, Eli Dershwitz (Harvard) coasted through the first day, going 14/15 for +39. With eight bouts remaining, his toughest opponent is Jonah Shainberg (ND), but all signs point to an easy day 2 for Dershwitz with his most difficult bouts behind him.
- Despite two First Team All-American selections (including a win over Daryl Homer), I didn’t even include Shaul Gordon as a dark horse this year. That said, I was surprised to see Gordon start 0/7 and finish day 1 going 3/15. It’s a brutally tough Men’s Saber field.
- The top four are still neck and neck. Places 2-6 (Maciewicz, Di Tella, Kaito “Mean” Streets, Roman “Wasn’t Built in a Day” Sydorenko, and Valkai) all have 11 to 12 wins. This is one that will probably come down to the wire.
- Since 2000, there have only been five athletes who have had a perfect preliminary into the semi-finals (23/23 bouts). Only two of those five went on to win. Alex Massialas has started 15/15 with a +41.
- There’s a guy in this event named Hans Kaiser. I’m going out on a limb here, but I think he’s German.
- Massialas is firmly in 1st, but between Harrison Bergman, Nobuo “Clap Ya Hands” Bravo, Vaiani, Chastanet, Brian Kaneshige, Sudilovsky, and DeSmet, the semi-finals are anyone’s to take.
- We had a lot of discussion about this among the TFC admin, but I felt pretty darn good picking Jake Hoyle for my semi final. He’s got that strong, brick wall fencing and unorthodox tempo that bodes well in this tournament. Most of his most difficult bouts are behind him, (sans Schumacher, Jacavino). I like his chances to finish the round 1st.
- Simon Jones is sitting at #2 right now. Still left to fence: Garrett McGrath, Lewis Weiss, Marc Antoine Blais, Jake Hoyle, and Brian “WOAHHHH” Ro. I don’t know if he’ll be able to sustain his momentum against that group, but if he survives, color me impressed.
- I think Leland Guillemin tricked us all into putting Blais in our semi-finals. But after going 7/15 in day 1, the reality is setting in that he’s a longshot for the semis.
- Like Jones, my dark horse Jonathan Jacavino (4th after day 1) still has Weiss, Blais, Raynis, and Garzo ahead. Going to be a very tough day 2 for him.