March 21, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State fencing team looks to capture its fourth team championship this weekend as it hosts the 2012 NCAA Championships inside French Field House and St. John Arena.
The women's competition begins at 10 a.m. Thursday inside French Field House. Men's bouts begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Results will be posted on OhioStateBuckeyes.com following the conclusion of each day and live stats will be available at http://www.prisedefer.com/NCAA.
ESPN3.com will broadcast each weapon's semifinals and championship bouts live here. ESPN will also air a one-hour highlights special on ESPN3.com following the conclusion of the event. Women's semifinal and gold medal bouts are set to begin at 1:45 p.m. Friday and the men's Final Four will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday.
A complete schedule of events and ticket information is available at http://go.osu.edu/NCAAinfo.
OHIO STATE AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Scarlet and Gray, under the direction of head coach Vladimir Nazlymov, have finished in the Top 5 at the event each year of the past decade, including championships in 2004 and 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2005.
The Buckeyes join Harvard, Notre Dame, Princeton and St. John's (N.Y.) as the only teams to qualify the maximum 12 fencers.
REPRESENTING OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes' group boasts 15 combined years of experience at the NCAA championships with nine fencers competing at the event previously, including eight returnees from the 2011 squad.
The Scarlet and Gray feature a youthful group as well, including a pair of rookies and five sophomores.
Senior Margarita Tschomakova is the most seasoned veteran on the squad with three previous showings at the NCAA championships. The Bonn, Germany, native has finished Top 10 each year, including a bronze finish in 2010 and a fifth-place effort a season ago. Tschomakova finished the regular season with 29 wins and earned an automatic NCAA qualification by claiming gold at the Midwest Regional Qualifier. She also earned silver at the Midwest Fencing Conference (MFC) championships
Junior Alison Miller finished 16th at the event her freshman and sophomore seasons. Miller, hailing from Chicago, Ill., led women's sabre with 35 victories and a gold medal at the MFC championships before picking up a third-place finish at the Midwest Regional.
Allison Henvick has been a core contributor in women's foil the last two seasons. The San Francisco, Calif., native took ninth at the 2011 NCAA Championships after finishing 10th in 2010. Henvick produced a solid effort this season, tying freshman Nina Stackhouse for second in women's foil with 25 regular-season wins. The senior improved upon her ninth-place showing at the MFC championships by finishing fifth at the Midwest Regional.
Freshman Mona Shaito joins Henvick in women's foil. The Dallas, Texas, native became a force to be reckoned with this winter, tallying a 15-0 record at the St. John's (N.Y.) Duals and capping the regular season with an outstanding 21-0 effort at the Northwestern Duals. Shaito led all Buckeye fencers with 45 wins and didn't disappoint in postseason play, garnering a bronze finish at the MFC championships and earning an automatic qualification with a gold performance at the Midwest Regional.
Katarzyna Dabrowa and Caroline Piasecka join Tschomakova and Miller as the only other returning duo for Ohio State. The sophomore tandem showed cunning on the strips during the regular season, combining for a 78-17 record. Both finished with season highs at the Northwestern Duals as Dabrowa notched 16 wins and Piasecka added 13.
Piasecka, an Oslo, Norway, native, tied for third at the MFC championships while Dabrowa, hailing from Wroclaw, Poland, finished fifth. The two claimed fourth and sixth, respectively, at the Midwest Regional. Last year the two tied men's epee to lead Ohio State's weapon tandems with a combined 30 victories at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Dabrowa tied for third while Piasecka claimed 15th.
Redshirt junior Max Stearns is appearing in his third tournament after qualifying freshman and sophomore years before sitting out last season. The sabreist recorded finishes of eighth and 13th in 2009 and 2010, respectively. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Stearns led all Buckeye men with 39 victories during the regular season.
Sophomore Rhys Douglas also represents men's sabre at the event. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native enjoyed a productive regular season, including a 31-8 record, before dominating the postseason alongside Stearns. Douglas claimed an individual title at the MFC championships before finishing second to Stearns at the Midwest Regional.
Zain Shaito, older brother of Mona Shaito, will compete at the event for the second-consecutive year after finishing 10th as a first-year fencer. The Texan enjoyed another monstrous year, leading men's foil with 35 wins before earning bronze at the MFC championships. Shaito was one of five Buckeyes to earn an automatic qualification to the NCAAs with a first-place showing at the Midwest Regional.
Freshman Chris Colley joins Shaito in men's foil. Colley, hailing from Portland, Ore., has created a formidable duo with the sophomore, highlighted by his 15-3 effort at the NYU Invitational in January. Colley ended the regular season with 32 wins before finishing second at the MFC championships.
Junior Marco Canevari improved upon a 19th-place finish as a rookie to tying for third last season at the NCAA championships. Now the Milan, Italy, native is looking to surge to a title. Canevari tied for second in men's epee with 28 wins, one off Kristian Boyadzhiev's mark of 29.
Boyadzhiev will see his first NCAA championship action after a strong regular season and a gold finish at the Midwest Regional. The Sofia, Bulgaria, native played an integral part of the bronze-earning unit at the U.S. Collegiate Squad Championships.
ABOUT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The National Collegiate Men's and Women's Fencing Championships include individual events in each of the six weapons (men's foil, men's epee, men's sabre, women's foil, women's epee, women's sabre).
Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four finishers will fence in semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the losers being awarded a tie for third place. Absolute ties for the seeding will be broken as follows: for positions one through three, by a coin toss; for position four, by a fence-off.
An institution's place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships.