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Tan hopes to get NCAA invite

US-based Filipino fencer Lance Tan of Sacred Heart University is keeping his fingers crossed for a possible spot in the US NCAA Fencing Championship on March 25 to 28 in Pennsylvania.

Tan, who turned 20 years old last month, went undefeated at 3-0 record in the recent invitational tournament of Sacred Heart against St. John’s University and Long Island University.

“I ended strong with a 3-0 record beating three strong international fencers in Maxime Tarasiewicz of Poland, Cesar Colon of Puerto Rico and Niklas Holland of Canada,” said Tan in a message exchange Thursday with Manila Bulletin.

“I’m super happy with the season, I ended the season with 80% win percentage. Right now I’m second in the Northeast NCAA region for win/loss ratio. I’m hopeful and optimistic.”

“My chance of fencing in the NCAA (final) is looking good, but we have to wait and see,” he added.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and health restrictions, most regional tournaments were canceled. The format has been revised with 24 slots to be given to different regions, namely Mid-Atlantic/South, Midwest, Northeast, West and one At-Large.

The announcement for the finalists for the NCAA Fencing Championship is on March 18.

“It’s out of our hands now,” said Tan. “We did our best and had good seasons. My athletic director and coach think I still have a good chance.”

Sam Catantan, a freshman at Penn State University and the first homegrown Filipino to play for a Division 1 school in the US NCAA, is also hoping to make it to the tournament proper.

Aside from the US NCAA tournament, Tan said he is also competing at the 2021 Junior World Championship next month in Cairo, Egypt. He participated in the same tournament in 2019 in Poland.

Tan represented the country in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he was recently picked as among the 25 young leaders to the four-year program of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph


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