People in the class of 2015

Matthew Laks's picture

Matthew Laks lettered three times at Commack High School. During his sophomore year, he won the Brentwood Underclassman Challenge. During his Junior Year, he amassed nearly 30 wins and was selected as Second-team all-county. He also finished 2nd place in the Huntington Team Relay and 6th in the county championships. During his Senior year, Laks captained the Commack Men’s Fencing Team to a 11-3 record and finished with a personal record of 32-5. He was named First-Team All-County and First-Team All-Long Island with the highest winning percentage on Long Island for Saber. He was also named captain of the Suffolk County Senior All-Star Team, in which he went 3-0 to lead Suffolk County to a 26-1 victory over Nassau. Recently, Laks won the Bronze medal at the USFA North American Cup in Detroit, Michigan, earning his C11. Matthew was also selected to the First Team USA Fencing All-Academic Team his Junior and Senior year of High School. Matthew Laks is a member of Island Fencing Academy and is coached by Boris Khurgin. Matthew enjoys baseball, music and watching football when not fencing. He also greatly enjoys chillaxin’ and laxbroin’, staples of his everyday life. He is the son of Virginia and Marc Laks and has one sister, Melissa. Matthew is extremely excited to fence for Cornell and is confident the Saber squad will have a phenomenal year.
Matthew capped off an impressive 22-victory freshman campaign with a first place finish at Club Champs in Hartford, CT. He is the first Cornell sabreist to hold the title. 


Steve Pochapin's picture

Steven fenced saber from 5th grade until 12th grade of high school. In that time he earned the rank of C and was 49th in Cadets and 52nd in Juniors. He also was on his high school’s fencing team. He was the captain of the team his senior year and currently holds the school record for highest percentage of wins in a career with winning 92% of his 117 bouts. He took two years off from fencing after high school to take a spiritual journey exploring Computer Science.

But after being nagged by Matt Joe he returned.

Steven is also interested in video games, programming, and hanging out with friends. He likes Piña Coladas and getting lost in the rain. He is not into yoga and he has half a brain.

Finally, Steven has one younger sibling and has parents.


Mike Peraza's picture

Mike is a sophmore, and one of the ravishing new fencers on the team, with no accolades or medals in fencing whatsoever. In high school, Mike participated in Cross Country, Wrestling, and Track during the school year earning a varsity letter eleven times all together. Also, he played baseball in high school during the summer. During high school Michael acted at theatre 3 performing showcases in Port Jefferson, NY as well as taking acting classes at his school. In addition to acting, Mike also plays guitar and has performed in coffee houses and talent shows. In terms of academic clubs was treasurer of student government, the senior class and junior class as well as a member of science bowl, global awareness club, Nexus community service, varsity brainstormers, National Honor society, science olympiads, and community volunteer track programs.

Freshman year at Cornell, Mike rowed for the Heavyweight Varsity Crew Team and majored in Biological engineering following the premed track with a minor in AEM. Michael is the son Tony and Rose Peraza, and has two younger brothers.

Michael enjoys weight lifting, running, being a much better debater than Harrison Fox, playing sports with friends, singing along to the radio while in the car, thinking up hypothetical situations, and absolutely loves discussing nerdy stuff like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, etc. Mike is probably the tallest member of the team and has the best/sexiest tan with his mix of different ethnicities.

EPEE!!!!!!!!, FTW

Danny Qiao's picture

 Danny, an E11 in epee, has been fencing since January ‘07, engaging in a mix of local usfa tournaments, nac’s, and other national tournaments. Outside of Cornell, he has been training under no one in particular at the North Shore Fencer’s Club outside of NYC. At Cornell, Danny has yet to grow more successful at club tournaments, achieving a macfa record of .000, and earning nothing at usacfc and macfa Championships, respectively, in 2011.
Danny’s work ethic can be characterized as very rigorous and focused on self-improvement. He will consistently stay late and will aim to attain as much fencing time as possible. He strives everyday to incorporate new technique, strengthen pre-existing actions, and to better himself in absence of a local epee coach.
Danny will serve as mascot for the first year in the 2012-2013 season. Incidentally he majors in Industrial and Labor Relations and potentially ILR.
Without a doubt, Danny is undeniably the most attractive fencer at Cornell.  We often use his radiant beauty to light dark hallways or to advertise to prospective female fencers.


Adam Kirsch's picture

Before coming to Cornell, Adam fenced for four years on the varsity squad at Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro, NJ. He was epee squad captain during his sophomore and junior seasons. As a senior, Adam captained the entire team, leading the squad to an 8-2 finish, the best in team history. As a result, Bergen Tech was named the 2010-2011 North Jersey Team of the Year. While in high school, Adam was twice named All-League and fenced in the district finals and state tournament.

As a lover of reading, Adam is enrolled in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. In addition to fencing, he enjoys writing and witty repartee.


Alex Cheng's picture

 Alex, a former B08 in foil, has been fencing since 2005. He has competed in numerous local, regional, and national tournaments for the USFA. Before coming to Cornell, Alex has privately taught by George Clovis, former Head Coach of Caltech Fencing. Outside of fencing, Alex enjoys traveling, cooking, and hanging out with friends.



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