Celina Merza earned a Midwest Regional Champion title in women's sabre.
March 10, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Fencing team began their quest for the NCAA Championship at the Midwest Regional in South Bend, Ind. Mar 9-10. Overall, 19 Buckeyes competed. The men’s and women’s team earned a combined seven medals, two weapon titles, and 17 Top 10 finishes.
Notre Dame hosted the event at the Castellan Family Fencing Center. Participating schools include Cleveland State, Detroit, Lawrence, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wayne State. Saturday consisted entirely of women’s competition while all men’s bouts took place on Sunday.
For the women’s epee group, junior Caroline Piasecka and senior Katarzyna Dabrowa secured silver and bronze, respectively, for the Buckeyes. Dabrowa was the Midwest Regional Champion in epee in 2011 and finished sixth in 2012.
Sisters Mona and Mai Shaito led the women in foil. Mona, the defending Midwest Regional Champion, earned a bronze medal for the Buckeyes while Mai finished fourth overall.
Sophomore Celina Merza earned the first individual weapon title of the weekend for Ohio State by securing the gold medal in women’s sabre. During her freshman season, Merza finished fourth overall at the 2012 Midwest Regional. Teammate Alison Miller added another Top 10 finish for the Buckeyes by ending the day in fourth place.
On Sunday, senior Marco Canevari notched Ohio State’s second weapon title on the tournament by bringing home gold in men’s epee. He was also the 2011 Midwest Regional Champion in this event. Classmate Daniel Tafoya secured the silver medal for the Buckeyes. Kristian Boyadzhiev (4) and Narayan Pathi (7) rounded out two more Top 10 finishes and the remainder of Buckeye swashbucklers in this category.
Chris Colley earned a bronze medal for Ohio State in men’s foil. After a fourth-place finish at the Midwest Regional last year, Colley improved to third place in 2013. Zain Shaito, the defending Midwest Regional champion in men’s foil, fell to teammate Colley during Sunday’s competition and finished the tournament in fourth place.
In men’s sabre, sophomore Bill Meyer led the Buckeyes. The converted foilist finished fifth in his first ever Midwest Regional performance. Veteran Max Stearns, the defending Midwest Regional champion in sabre, fell to eighth place on the day.
Individual finishes at the regional event combined with overall season strength of a particular fencer determine whether that student-athlete moves on to the NCAA Championships in San Antonio, Texas Mar. 21-24.
Once the NCAA field is set, select Ohio State fencers will head to San Antonio to compete in the championships. The official NCAA Championship qualifiers will be released on Mar. 12.
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