RENO, Nev. – Sophomore Joey Rafidi (Los Angeles, Calif.) of MIT's fencing team finished second out of a field of 235 competitors in junior men's epee at the North American Cup which was held at Summer Nationals in Reno, Nevada. The under-19 tournament consisted of four rounds: a round robin-style "pool" of six or seven fencers which seeds for the next round. This was followed by a single-elimination bracket to top 32, a double-elimination bracket to top eight, and finally a single-elimination bracket for the championship.
Rafidi, who entered the competition ranked 13th in the country in this division, went undefeated in the first round to earn an 11th seed for the first single-elimination round, which he easily breezed through. In the double-elimination round, Rafidi narrowly won his first two bouts by a single touch, including a 14-13 victory over Joseph Isaac. Rafidi comfortably won the next three bouts to find himself in the final against Isaac who emerged from the consolation bracket of the double-elimination round. The title bout was again very close, taking the full regulation time. In the end, Isaac managed an 8-7 victory over Rafidi. Based on these results, Rafidi moves up to the No. 6 spot on the under-19 ranking as he enters his sophomore campaign for the Cardinal and Gray.
Courtesy of senior captain Daniel Levine (Succasunna, N.J.)