Nine from Ohio State Head to National Championships This Weekend

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

March 15, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State fencing team sends nine of its own to Houston this weekend for the 2006 NCAA National Fencing Championships, hosted by Rice University and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. The men's competition takes place Thursday and Friday, followed by the women's competition Saturday and Sunday.

Six members of the Buckeyes' No. 1-ranked men's squad, the most allowable, will be in action, while three members of OSU's 10th-ranked women's squad will compete. A maximum of 12 competitors from one school may qualify, a feat accomplished this season by Harvard, Penn State and Notre Dame. In addition, Columbia and St. John's will send 11 fencers to compete. No school qualified 10 and Ohio State was the only program to qualify nine.

A total of 24 fencers in each of the six disciplines (men's and women's sabre, foil and epee) will compete, with each fencer going up against all other competitors in the field for a total of 23 five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top four fencers in each discipline based on their record in those 23 bouts will then be placed in a championship bracket for 15-touch bouts to determine the individual Top 4 place finishes. The accumulation of points (one point for each individual victory) from both the men and women will determine the team finishes.

Ohio State, which won the 2004 national title competing with the maximum 12 fencers, is seeking its fifth-consecutive Top 4 finish at the NCAA championships. The Buckeyes finished fourth in 2002 and 2003 and took second last year with 11 fencers, falling to Notre Dame by two points, 173-171. OSU led by 24 points after the men's competition last year before the Fighting Irish began their stunning two-day comeback. HOW THEY QUALIFIED
The nine Ohio State fencers to qualify did so March 4 at the NCAA Midwest Regional Qualifier in Cleveland. The top five finishers in each weapon automatically qualified for the national championships, though no more than two from each school may qualify, which denied three OSU fencers on the men's side a trip to Houston.

For the Ohio State men, sabre fencers Adam Crompton and Jason Rogers will be competing, with Rogers getting the nod in place of teammate Mike Momtselidze, who qualified but can not compete because of injury. Crompton won the individual national championship in 2003 and 2004, while Rogers has earned All-America honors three times and was a member of the United States Olympic team in 2004.

In men's foil, two-time national champion Boaz Ellis seeks his third title and is joined by Andras Horanyi, the top-ranked junior foil fencer in the country.

In men's epee, two-time first-team All-American Denis Tolkachev will compete along with freshman Jason Pryor.

On the women's side, sophomores Siobhan Byrne, who placed third at the national championships last year, and Eileen Grench will represent the OSU sabre squad. Kaela Brendler, a two-time second-team All-American, will compete in epee.

The nine Buckeyes to qualify for the national championships bring impressive won-lost records with them. On the women's side, Siobhan Byrne is 31-5 overall, Eileen Grench is 30-6 and Kaela Brendler is 40-9. For the OSU men, Adam Crompton is 22-3, Jason Rogers is 15-5, Boaz Ellis and Andras Horanyi are both 20-1, Denis Tolkachev is 28-7 and Jason Pryor is 50-10. Complete records, including breakdowns of varsity and club opponents and meet-by-meet results, are available with the PDF version of this release.

Ohio State defeated Notre Dame by 65 points to place first overall for the third-consecutive year at the 2006 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships at Notre Dame Feb. 26. On the men's side, Ohio State took first in all three weapons and tallied a total of 675 points, 45 points better than second place Notre Dame. The Buckeye women, ranked sixth at the time, took first in sabre and epee for a total of 650 points, 20 points better than second place Notre Dame.

Twelve Ohio State fencers are ranked in the nation according to the latest senior division ranking report by U.S. Fencing, including six in the Top 10. In men's sabre, Jason Rogers is ranked No. 4, Adam Crompton is No. 8 and Mike Momtselidze is No. 9. In men's foil, Andras Horanyi is ranked No. 4, while in men's epee Christian Rivera is ranked No. 6. On the women's side, Eileen Grench is ranked No. 10 in sabre.

Ohio State competed in three regular-season competitions, including the New York University Duals Jan. 21-22, the Notre Dame Duals Jan. 28 and the Ohio State Duals Feb. 4. In New York, the OSU men went 5-0 and the women's squad went 2-3. The OSU men and women both fashioned 8-0 records during the Notre Dame Duals. The Buckeyes then swept all nine of their opponents on both the men's and women's side during the Ohio State Duals. Complete individual results of all three competitions are available in the PDF version of this release.

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