Fencing Holds Annual Banquet
Jonathan Holbrook Named Captain
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale fencing teams had its annual end of the year banquet on Saturday, Apr. 10. The banquet is meant to celebrate the past season and to honor the achievements of certain fencers who have distinguished themselves. The team also announced the election of sophomore Jonathan Holbrook as the new men's fencing captain.
John Gurrieri was awarded the Everett M. Wetchler Memorial Award, given to that senior member of either the men's or women's varsity team who best exemplifies the qualities of competitive spirit, achievement and dedication to Yale fencing.
"Seeing John [Gurrieri] recognized for his accomplishments was great," said outgoing captain Andrew Holbrook. "He has had a phenomenal college career and has been the backbone of this team's strong performance."
Nathaniel Botwinick was awarded the Coach Harutunian Award for Best Junior, given to a junior member who best exemplifies the qualities of competitive spirit, achievement and dedication to Yale Fencing. Botwinick was also awarded the "Pop" Grasson Cup, for the team member who, by spirit and determination, has contributed most to the varsity team. This award is given on a discretionary basis by Coach Harutunian based on exceptional results. Additionally, Botwinick was also honored with the Most Valuable Fencer Award, given to fencers who achieve All-American status at the NCAA Championship.
"Nat being recognized by winning the MVP award for best junior only caps off an extremely successful season," noted Holbrook. "His performance at NCAA nationals was exceptional and this award recognizes that, as does his selection by coach for the Pop Grasson Cup award."
Maddie Oliver was awarded the Kristaps Keggi Award, given to a freshman member of the team who best exemplifies the qualities of competitive spirit, achievement and dedication to Yale fencing.
Aside from being elected the 2010-2011 captain, Jonathan Holbrook also received the Coach Harutunian Award for Best Sophomore, given to the best sophomore fencer, inspired by Ayo Griffin's achievements.
Commenting on the new captain, Holbrook said, "Jonathan came back to foil this year after fencing a year of saber and continued to improve throughout the season, as seen in his strong finish at NCAA Regionals. His leadership next year will be critical in helping this team realize its potential."
The banquet also allowed the team a moment's pause to reflect on the past season, its accomplishments and shortcomings. The dinner also allowed the Bulldogs to look forward to next season.
"Given our high hopes, it was a disappointing season in terms of our results on paper," said Andrew Holbrook. "However, what was not disappointing was how this team came together, how we supported one another and how we proved ourselves a whole better than the sum of our parts. Banquet was a great opportunity for the seniors to look back on our experiences, but also for the team to look back on this past year. Looking ahead, this team will be in great shape under Jonathan's leadership and the leadership of the class of rising juniors and seniors. We have a great core of fencers returning next season who will ensure this team will continue to improve this coming year."
Report By Arsi Sefaj '11, Yale Sports Publicity