No Rocky Road: Harvard Men's and Women's Fencing Dominate Opponents in Air Force Western Invitational in Colorado
The Harvard women’s and men’s fencing teams got off to a hot start in last weekend's season-opening meets. Both teams traveled to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to compete in the Air Force Western Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. The men won six out of its seven matches in the Rockies, while the women went undefeated across eight matches.
First-year Lauren Scruggs made her presence known from the moment she joined Harvard's fencing roster. At 19-years-old, she has amassed four gold medals at Junior Championships, a first-place finish at the North American Cup National Championships, a second-place team finish at the NCAA National Championships, and second team All-America standing.
On April 5, first-year Lauren Scruggs mounted the top step of the podium at the junior world championship fencing tournament, becoming the No. 1 foil fencer in the world. After four fierce days of competition in the other half of the globe, the New York native annihilated Japan’s Yuzuha Takeyama 15-3 to take home the gold and add to her laundry list of accomplishments in the fencing world.
Harvard fencing traveled to the campus of Notre Dame in Indiana to compete in this year's NCAA Division I fencing Championships from March 25 to March 28 and came home with two individual sabre champions and an overall second place team finish. Led by Junior captain Elizabeth Tartakovsky and sophomore captain Filip Dolegiewicz, the team’s second place finish was their best result since 2006.
Over the weekend, the Crimson men's and women's fencing teams faced off against some of the top-ranked teams in the country. Both Harvard teams managed to hold their own in such high-caliber competitions, with each emerging from the weekend with two wins and two losses.
Former Harvard fencing coach Peter Brand and Harvard College parent Jie “Jack” Zhao have been indicted on bribery charges by a federal grand jury.
Monday court filings in support of federal prosecutors’ case against a former Harvard fencing coach and parent paint a picture of two men respectively beset by financial difficulties and intent on securing his sons’ admission to the College.
The former fencing coach and Harvard College parent at the heart of an admissions scandal which embroiled Harvard Athletics in spring 2019 were arrested on Monday and charged with bribery, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts.
“I know that I’m gonna have to make a tough decision eventually, but I had to make a tough decision last year as well about whether to take a year off or not,” Taratakovsky explained. “And I don’t regret it for a minute.”
Harvard fencing placed extremely well against stiff competition this past weekend at the Ivy League Championships. The No. 2 men (20-3, 5-0 Ivy League) became the first Crimson team to win the Ivy League Championship Title outright since their triumph back in 2013, while the No. 7 women (16-11, 3-3) finished fourth. Both teams went on to sweep the three-game Beanpot series on Wednesday.
Harvard has dismissed head fencing coach Peter Brand after an independent inquiry into the 2016 sale of his home found he violated Harvard’s conflict of interest policy, Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise wrote in an email to athletics staff Tuesday.
A federal grand jury is investigating the sale of a Needham, Mass. home from Harvard’s head fencing coach to the father of current and former College fencers. The Massachusetts U.S. attorney’s office subpoenaed Needham officials in April, seeking to review records related to the 2016 transaction.
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay said in an interview Thursday that the College could alter its admissions policies after an external investigation into Harvard’s head fencing coach, Peter Brand.
Just as Harvard was ready to saunter away from the quagmire that is Operation Varsity Blues, we were hit with an admissions scandal on our own front piste.
Harvard Will Train Athletics Coaches in Conflict of Interest Policy Following Investigation Into Fencing Coach
Harvard will train its athletics coaching staff on its conflict of interest policy in the wake of an investigation into head fencing coach Peter Brand for engaging in a real estate transaction with the parent of a current and then-prospective fencer.
Harvard Investigates Head Fencing Coach for Real Estate Transactions Involving Family of Current and Former Student-Athletes
Peter Brand, Harvard’s head men and women’s fencing coach, sold his Needham, Mass. house to iTalk Global Communications, Inc. co-founder Jie Zhao in 2016 for hundreds of thousands of dollars above its valuation, the Boston Globe reported Thursday. Zhao’s younger son, a sophomore, was admitted to Harvard shortly after and is currently a member of the fencing team. His older son, who was also a member of the fencing team, graduated from Harvard in 2018.