In spite of the advance of Hurricane Sandy, the Temple Owls ran their usual successful event. The original entry count of 575 athletes continues to make the Temple Open the largest individual collegiate tournament in the country.
Normally the tournament, in it’s 33rd year, follows the following format: two rounds of pools with 80% up to a direct elimination. There is always a consolation round for those who are eliminated. For many collegiate fencing programs and clubs, this is the first meet of the season. “It is a great opportunity for coaches to see their fencers in a competitive setting, which is why we keep doing it” said Coach Nikki Franke. The thirty different colleges that participate certainly agree that the tournament is a good one.
This year’s Temple Open had an unexpected guest: Hurricane Sandy. The tournament ran with its usual excellent efficiency, but was sent into high gear when the pending storm caused many administrations to pull out their teams in advance of the storm’s arrival.
Citing the “perfect storm” that was hitting, many colleges asked their coaches to leave early, and the withdrawls kept coming Sunday as the day progressed. Nikki Franke met with all the coaches to decide what would be best. The coaches agreed to stay as long as reasonably possible and amended the final event’s format (men’s sabre) to speed it up to one round of pools to a straight DE table. Coach Franke also made sure that the furthest referees, bout committee, and technicians with the longest drives were sent home first.
Looking at Temple’s participation in their home Open, Coach Franke praised her women’s team: “Across the board our fencers did very well this meet.” She told me that there were at least 2 finalists in every event and 4 in women’s foil.” Looking forward to the Penn State Open, Franke continued, “Any competition experience for our freshman before Penn State is a good thing.” It is clear that the Temple Open, in spite of Hurricane Sandy, continues to be an excellent start for the new collegiate season.
Full results from the Temple Open are available at the team’s web site.