Jan. 10, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Fresh off of an impressive showing at the North American Cup event last month, the Ohio State fencing team is preparing for its next Cup action this weekend at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The competition, which will take place this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, will showcase a Buckeye squad that is no stranger to Cup success.
The North American Cup (NAC) is the title of a series of national tournaments held throughout the country each year and serves as the point system used for determining spots on U.S. national teams. The NAC competition held this weekend in Columbus will mark Ohio State's final competition before the collegiate regular season begins Jan. 20-21 at the Notre Dame Duals. In March, the Buckeyes will aim for their sixth-consecutive Top 4 finish at the NCAA Championships.
The event this weekend will mark the beginning of a critical three week stretch for the Buckeye fencers.
"The next three weeks will be important in discovering who is ready to compete for us in the NCAAs," head coach Vladimir Nazlymov said. "We must be mentally prepared and realize that this is not a warm-up for the collegiate season."
Sophomore Andras Horanyi (Boulder, Colo.) leads the men's foil team into competition, spring boarded by his success at the NAC held last month at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Va. Horanyi won the men's foil and appears ready to make a run at a possible individual collegiate national title.
The NAC will feature numerous Buckeyes, including sabre specialists Siobhan Byrne (Eislingen, Germany) and Eileen Grench (Davis, Calif.), who finished 11th and 12th, respectively, at last month's NAC competition. Returning from last month's 16th-place finish, Mikhail Momtselidze (Overland Park, Mo.) will fence in the men's sabre and freshman Sean Harder (Redondo Beach, Calif.) will compete in the epee (27th in December).
Ohio State will also feature several competitors in the Junior Division. Harder, along with fellow freshman Alex Delaney (Maplewood N.J.), Dexter Wilde (Chicago, Ill.), Joe Streb (Columbus, Ohio) and Holly McKibben (Columbus, Ohio) will fence in the Junior Division. In addition, sophomores Jason Pryor (Cleveland, Ohio) and Elyse Gurnowski (Hackettstown, N.J.) will compete in both Division I and the Junior Division.
Former Buckeye fencers and current volunteer assistant coaches Boaz Ellis, Adam Crompton, Hanna Thompson and Denis Tolkachev will also compete at the NAC. Ellis, a three-time national champion, tied for third in the men's foil at last month's NAC, while Crompton took second in sabre. Thompson earned first place honors in the foil, and will also compete this weekend.
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