March 10, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State fencing team competed at the NCAA Midwest Regional Qualifier in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, qualifying 11 fencers out of a possible maximum of 12 for the 2007 NCAA Championships March 22-25 in Madison, N.J.
Six members of the second-ranked men's team and five members of the sixth-ranked women's squad will compete at the national championships. The Buckeyes, who could qualify one more fencer through an at-large bid, finished third in the nation last year despite only qualifying nine fencers.
A maximum of 12 fencers from each school, two from each weapon, are permitted to automatically qualify for the national championships. The rule in part negated the dominance of the women's sabre squad which claimed first, second and fourth, and the men's foil team, which claimed first, third and fifth.
Sophomore Andras Horanyi (Boulder, Colo.) won the men's foil competition while junior teammate Will Jeter (Cincinnati, Ohio), who two seasons ago was the foil champion, placed third. Horanyi's victory marked the third year in a row that Ohio State won the men's foil competition.
OSU took the two top spots in the women's sabre, with junior Siobhan Byrne (Eislingen, Germany) placing first and junior Eileen Grench (Davis, Calif.) taking second. Despite finishing in a qualifying position, senior Syvenna Siebert (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and sophomore Dimitri Kirk-Gordon (San Jose, Calif.) will not compete because both team qualifying positions were already filled.
Sophomore Mikhail Momtselidze (Overland Park, Mo.) won men's sabre and freshman Sergey Smirnov (Shymkent, Kazachstan) placed fourth. Momtselidze followed the success of current volunteer assistant coach and three-time NCAA Champion Adam Crompton who was the Midwest Regional champion in the sabre last season.
The women's epee team qualified juniors Leslie Lampman (Gibsonia, Pa.), who placed second, and Alexandra Obrazcova (Daugavpils, Latvia) who finished fourth. In the men's epee, freshman Mykhaylo Mazur (Khmelnitskiy, Ukraine) finished second and sophomore Jason Pryor (Cleveland, Ohio) placed fifth, both securing automatic qualifying bids.
The final spot went to freshman epee specialist Julia Tikhonova (Jerusalem, Israel), who placed fourth. Freshman Holly McKibben (Columbus, Ohio) finished sixth, just one spot outside an automatic qualifying bid. However, McKibben can still qualify for the NCAA Championship through one of two at-large bids.
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