COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State fencing team will travel to Richmond, Va., for North American Cup competition this weekend, Dec. 7-9, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
The North American Cup (NAC) is the title of a series of national tournaments held throughout the country each year and serves as the point system used for determining spots on U.S. National teams. The next NAC competition will be held Jan. 18-20 in Atlanta, Ga., and will mark Ohio State’s final competition before the collegiate regular season begins Jan. 26 at the New York University Duals.
A LOOK BACK
Last season, Andras Horanyi won men’s foil at the NAC in Richmond, using the event as a springboard towards his national title run in 2007.
Among current Buckeyes who competed at the NAC last year, senior Siobhan Byrne took 11th in sabre, junior Eileen Grench placed 12th in sabre, junior Mikhail Momtselidze took 16th in sabre, sophomore Julia Tikhonova finished 20th in foil and sophomore Sean Harder placed 27th in epee to round out Ohio State’s top performers.
Former Buckeye standout Hanna Thompson won women’s foil, while former three-time national champion Adam Crompton took second in sabre and fellow alumni Boaz Ellis tied for third in foil.
A total of 21 Buckeyes, including three volunteer assistant coaches, represented Ohio State at the event, with eight earningTop 20 finishes.
In a meet that featured 10 of the Top 15 schools from the 2006-07 NCAA Championships, including defending national champion Penn State, the Ohio State fencing team captured four of six event titles en route to an impressive performance at the Garret Open in State College, Pa., Nov. 17-18.
Andras Horanyi, Mikhail Momtselidze, Lindsay Knauer and Siobhan Byrne each captured individual titles. The women’s sabre trio of Byrne, Eileen Grench and Falencia Miller was particularly exceptional, taking three of the Top 4 spots.
Knauer, who missed her freshman season due to injury, won women’s foil and in doing so finished above Adi Nott of Notre Dame, who was third at last season’s NCAA championship.
In men’s sabre, junior Mikhail Momtselidze took first place by defeating Daniel Bak of host Penn State. Teammate Sergey Smirnov captured a fifth-place finish while Dexter Wilde finished 13th.
Ohio State’s Aleksandra Obrazcova finished third in women’s epee, while fifth-year senior Kaela Brendler took seventh in only her second event since March 2006. The men’s side had three Top 10 finishers with Mykhaylo Mazur placing seventh, Jason Pryor ninth and Alexander Delaney 10th.
NATIONALLY RANKED BUCKEYES
Eight members of the fencing team are currently listed in the national rankings. The highest spot belongs to junior Andras Horanyi, who comes in at fourth in the senior men’s foil. Other Top 10 student-athletes are senior Eileen Grench, who is eighth in senior women’s sabre, and junior Mikhail Momtselidze who is 10th in senior men’s sabre. For Grench, the ranking comes on the heels of a silver-medal performance at the Pan American Games this past summer with Team USA.
Also in the rankings for Ohio State are freshmen Colin Sutter and Ben Parkins, who are 14th and 25th, respectively, in the senior men’s foil. Fellow freshman Falencia Miller is tied for 19th in the senior women’s sabre while Lindsay Knauer has dropped to 42nd following an injury. Sean Harder rounds out the Buckeyes in the senior rankings with a 35th place spot in men’s epee.
Several Buckeyes also received nods in the junior rankings. Dexter Wilde, Robert Douville, along with Harder, Miller and Parkins all rank nationally in the junior circuit. Hanna Thompson and Jason Paul, who competed for the Buckeyes from 2002-05, are each ranked in the Top 4 of their specialty. Former volunteer assistant coach Adam Crompton also ranks in the senior men’s sabre and current volunteer assistant coach Christian Rivera placed 20th in senior men’s epee.
For the fifth-consecutive season the Ohio State fencing team finished in the Top 5 at the national championships in March. Also during that time the Buckeyes have won five Midwest Conference titles and in 2004 captured the program’s second national championship.
The rise to national prominence can be largely attributed to head coach Vladimir Nazlymov, who is now in his ninth year at Ohio State. Under Nazlymov, eight Buckeye fencers have captured individual national titles and the team has gone a combined 321-78.
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