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A 2007 inductee into Pingry's Athletics Hall of Fame, the celebrated Big Blue fencer-turned-Olympian Daniel Kellner '94 was recently named to USA Fencing's 2019 Hall of Fame. He is the third Pingry fencer—behind C. Lee Shelley '74 and longtime Head Coach of Pingry's Varsity Fencing Team, Ted Li—to receive the distinguished honor.
Kellner, a four-year letter winner at Columbia University and three-time All-American in college, catapulted himself into the international scene early in his collegiate career. He was a Junior World Cup Finalist in France as a freshman, Under-20 U.S. Junior Olympic champion as a sophomore, and was designated an elite athlete by the U.S. Olympic Committee his junior year. A seven-time member of the U.S. National team at the World Championships, Kellner finished second in the U.S. Nationals in 1997, 1998, and 2000. He captured the individual and team gold medals at the 2003 Pan American Games and won his first U.S. title in 2004. A member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic fencing team at the Athens Games, Kellner competed in the team and individual foil events. He captained the team to a fourth-place finish, its highest finish in 56 years. He was only the second American men's foil fencer ever to be ranked in the top 16 in the FIE (International Fencing Federation) World Rankings.
Kellner established his talent quickly at Pingry. A four-year letterer and team captain his senior year, he earned countless honors while playing for Big Blue. His achievements include: first position First-Team All-State during his junior and senior years; First-Team All-Area as a junior; Outstanding Male Athlete of the Winter Season by The Hills-Bedminster Press during the 1992-1993 season; and state foil champion during his junior year, boasting a record of 12-1 with an 8-0 record in the finals.
Ted Li, Head Coach of the school's Varsity Fencing Team for 42-years, recalls his talent and contribution to the team. "He was self-motivated, self-disciplined, selfless, persevering, dedicated to the team, creative: a leader by example," he says.
Now owner and coach of The Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club, Dan looks back fondly at his early days as a Big Blue fencer, where his dream of becoming an Olympian took root. "I believe it was the opportunities Pingry presented and its commitment to excellence, not just in athletics or academics, but excellence in life as a whole, that helped inspire me to reach for a goal, that, looking back at it now, seemed near impossible."
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, email@example.com