COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State fencing team will compete in the NCAA National Championships Thursday through Sunday at French Field House and St. John Arena on the campus of the Ohio State University. The Buckeyes, who have the top-ranked women's squad and the No. 2-ranked men’s squad, will be in search of their second combined men’s and women’s team national title (2004) and third title overall (1942).
Ohio State enters the event as one of four teams with 12 fencers, the maximum stipulated by NCAA rules. The other three schools include Columbia, St. John’s and conference rival Notre Dame. Penn State, the defending national champion, qualified 11 athletes, while Harvard, the 2006 National Champion, qualified 10.
Ohio State has finished in the Top 5 at the national championships in each of the last five seasons.
The Buckeyes bring with them seven returning All-Americans, five conference champions and the defending foil national champion, Andras Horanyi.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Both the women, who will fence Thursday and Friday, and the men, who will fence Saturday and Sunday, will fence with three weapons the sabre, foil and epee. A total of 24 fencers in each weapon have qualified for the championships and will fence against the other 23 competitors in their discipline. After those 23 bouts, the best four records will advance to the medal round. Those four top fencers will be seeded and placed into a four-team bracket, with the winners of the two semifinal bouts advancing to the gold medal round, and the two losers meeting for the bronze medal.
A total of six individual national champions will be crowned. All wins secured by an individual will go to its team total. The team with the most points following the men’s gold medal matches on Sunday will be crowned team national champion.
MEET THE BUCKEYE 12
Horanyi, along with freshman Ben Parkins represent men’s foil, while returning All-Americans Sergey Smirnov and Mike Momtselidze represent men's sabre. Two-time NCAA Championship participant Jason Pryor joins with sophomore Sean Harder to compete in men's epee.
The women’s side features four returning All-Americans, including fifth-year senior Kaela Brendler in epee, who was a member of Ohio State’s 2004 national championship team. The other three include Midwest Qualifier epee gold medalist Aleksandra Obrazcova, and senior sabreists Eileen Grench and Siobhan Byrne, who share five All-American accolades between them.
The women's foil squad features freshman Oksana Dmytruk, who won gold at both the Midwest Conference Championships and the Midwest Qualifier, and sophomore Lindsay Knauer, who will make her first trip to the NCAA Championships.
The following is a look at the last six national championships final team standings.
Year Champion Runner-Up Other
2002 Penn State St. John’s 4th - Ohio State
2003 Notre Dame Penn State 4th - Ohio State
2004 Ohio State Penn State
2005 Notre Dame Ohio State
2006 Harvard Pennsylvania 3rd Ohio State
2007 Penn State St. John’s 5th Ohio State
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
Ohio State has fought every Top 4 team in the country this season on both the men’s and women’s side, and won all but two of those matchups.
The Buckeyes met with conference rival Notre Dame three times this season, with Ohio State claiming victory all three times in men’s competition and taking an additional two victories over the Fighting Irish in women’s competition, including an upset of the top-ranked Notre Dame women's team at the NYU Duals. The sole loss for the women came at the Northwestern Duals a week after the NYU Duals, when the Fighting Irish upended the Buckeyes, 17-10.
Notre Dame is led on the men’s side by returning All-American epee specialist Greg Howard and by sophomore Kelly Hurley, the 2007 NCAA national runner-up in women’s epee.
The loss for the Buckeyes in men’s competition came to defending national champion Penn State, when they fell 16-11 at the Northwestern Duals. The women’s team returned the favor, however, dropping the Nittany Lions 18-9. The top-ranked Nittany Lions men's squad is led by senior and three-time All-American Franz Boghichev in sabre, Nick Chinman and Daniel Bak in foil, and team captain Arthur Urman in epee.
The Penn State women are led by junior Allison Glasser in foil and returning All-American Anastasia Ferdman in epee.
St. John’s and Ohio State met this season at the NYU Duals, with the Scarlet and Gray winning both men’s and women’s competition. The Red Storm is led on the men’s side by Luther Clement in sabre and Stan Vaksman in epee. The women's team is helmed by 2007 foil national runner-up Monika Golebiewski and 2007 epee national bronze medalist Reka Szele.
Columbia and Ohio State also met at the NYU Duals, with the Buckeyes again coming out on top in both men’s and women’s competition. The Lions third-ranked women’s team is led by three-time All-American and 2005 sabre national champion Emily Jacobson. Foil specialists Kurt Getz and Sherif Farrag lead the fourth-ranked Columbia men.
SIX-PEAT: BUCKEYES CLAIM ANOTHER MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIP
For the sixth-consecutive season, Ohio State won the Midwest Conference title Feb. 24 at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse on the campus of Notre Dame. The Buckeyes took five of six weapons, including both men’s and women’s sabre, men’s and women’s foil and men’s epee.
In total, the Scarlet and Gray earned 1,325 points, just 25 shy of a perfect 1,350. Second place Notre Dame earned 1,255 points, while third place Northwestern came in third with 1,075.
Mikhail Momtselidze, Siobhan Byrne, Andras Horanyi and Oksana Dmytruk all grabbed crowns in the individual competition on Saturday, while an additional eight fencers earned Top 5 finishes.
In the final regular season competition, second-ranked Ohio State put forth a winning effort Feb. 2-3 at the Northwestern Duals in Evanston, Ill.
On the first day of competition, the Buckeyes met up with national powerhouses Notre Dame and Penn State, who have claimed two of the last three national championships. The Buckeye women topped the No. 4 ranked Penn State, 18-9, while the Ohio State men fell to the Nittany Lions, 16-11.
In a rematch of the NYU Duals, the Ohio State men were triumphant in their contest with Notre Dame, dropping them in a hard-fought battle, 14-13. The Buckeye women were unable to duplicate their previous success against the Fighting Irish, losing 17-10.
In other notable matchups, the women’s squad defeated No. 6-ranked Northwestern, 18-9, and also the No. 9-ranked Temple women, 21-6. The Buckeye men knocked off the 10th-ranked Stanford squad, 20-7.
Following a season in which the OSU women went 17-1 against varsity competition, including wins over seven of the Top 10 teams, the Buckeye women’s team is now ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation. The men's team, which went 16-1 on the season, holds the No. 2 spot, trailing only the top-ranked Penn State men.
For more information on the USFCA coaches poll, visit www.ncaasports.com.
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