WALTHAM, Mass. – Ohio State finished an impressive run at the 2016 NCAA Fencing Championships today, landing in second place despite qualifying 11 of the maximum 12 fencers for competition. Sophomore foilist Maximilien Chastanet highlighted the men’s competition with a gold medal and his first NCAA Championship title. Sophomore Marc-Antoine Blais Belanger claimed second place in epee competition, and classmate Lewis Weiss finished in third place.
In men’s foil, Maximilien Chastanet ended round robin competition in first place, winning 18 out of 23 bouts and earning a +52 indicator. In the semifinal round, Chastanet defeated Columbia’s Adam Mathieu, 15-10. The bout began as a back and forth match, but Chastanet commanded the second half to defeat No. 4 seed Mathieu. Chastanet faced off with Penn State’s Nobuo Bravo in the final round, setting the pace early in the bout with four quick unanswered touches. A native of Nice, France, Chastanet dominated the second period of the match to defeat No. 2 Bravo, 15-3. Chastanet finishes competition with his first NCAA Championship title, improving from an eighth place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships. Ohio State’s last men’s foil champion was Zain Shaito in 2012.
The Buckeyes claimed two medals in mens’ epee, with Marc-Antoine Blais Belanger finishing in second place and Lewis Weiss in third. Blais-Belanger finished round robin competition in the No. 2 spot, winning 18 bouts and claiming a +19 indicator. The Montreal, Quebec native went up against St. John’s fencer Yevgeniy Karuchenko, the 2014 epee champion. Blais-Belanger defeated Karuchenko 15-14 in a thrilling back and forth bout. In the final round, the sophomore faced off with defending champion Jake Hoyle from Columbia University. Blais-Belanger started strong in the first period, leading Hoyle 4-2 at the first break, and held on until the second break, leading 6-5. Hoyle jumped ahead in the third period and Blais-Belanger wasn’t able to catch up, dropping the bout 15-9. The second place finish is Blais-Belanger’s best finish yet, having finished in sixth place at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Lewis Weiss finished round robin in the No. 4 seed, claiming 17 victories and a +22 indicator. Weiss went on to fence with eventual champion Jake Hoyle in a very close bout. Hoyle ended up with the last touch, defeating Weiss 15-14. Weiss finishes in third place at NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year.
Men’s foilist Stas Sudilovsky finished the day in 12th place after earning 13 wins and a +12 indicator. For men’s sabre, junior Fares Arfa finished in fifth place, earning Second Team All-America honors with 15 victories and a +22 indicator - his highest finish of three NCAA Championships appearances. Sophomore Hector Florencia placed 16th in his NCAA Championship debut, contributing ten victories for sabre.
Women’s competition contributed three medals, highlighted by Eleanor Harvey’s first place finish in women’s foil (21/23, +67). Harvey, a junior from Hamilton, Ontario, is the first women’s foil champion for Ohio State since Yelena Kalkina in 1997. Harvey is the third Buckeye to win a women’s title in program history.
Women’s epeeist Eugenia Falqui (14/23, +9) and women’s foilist Alanna Goldie (19/23, +50) both claimed bronze medals with their third place finishes. Freshman epeeist Emma von Dadelszen finished in 12th place at her NCAA Championship debut, contributing 12 wins and a +10 indicator. Junior Alexa Antipas claimed 17th place, earning 10 victories for the team.
The Buckeyes totaled 167 points, right on the heels of 2016 champions Columbia University (174). Ohio State register 1,014 touches and a +243 touch differential. This event concludes Ohio State fencing’s varsity season.
2016 NCAA Fencing Championships
Mar. 27, 2016
Gosman Athletic Center - Waltham, Mass.
17 Alexa Antipas
Buckeyes Set for Zone Championships