March 13, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State is poised to make a run at the 2012 NCAA Championships with the maximum 12 qualifiers, as the NCAA released the field of participants Tuesday afternoon. The Buckeyes join Harvard, Notre Dame, Princeton and St. John’s (N.Y.) as the only teams to qualify 12 fencers.

The Scarlet and Gray host the event this year, held March 22-25 at French Field House and St. John Arena. More information can be found here:

The Buckeyes’ group boasts 15 combined years of experience at the NCAA championships with nine fencers competing at the event previously, including eight returners from the 2011 squad.

Seniors Max Stearns, Margarita Tschomakova and Allison Henvick lead the Buckeyes. 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.

Stearns is appearing in his third tournament after qualifying freshman and sophomore years before sitting out as a junior. The sabreist recorded finishes of eighth and 13th in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

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.

Junior Alison Miller, joining Tschomakova in women’s sabre, finished 16th at the event her freshman and sophomore seasons. Classmate and men’s epeeist Marco Canevari improved upon a 19th-place finish as a rookie to tying for third last season at the NCAA championships.

The Scarlet and Gray also return a quartet of sophomore participants from a season ago. Included are men’s foilist Zain Shaito (10th in 2011), men’s sabreist Rhys Douglas (10th) and women’s epeeists Katarzyna Dabrowa (t-3rd) and Caroline Piasecka (15th).

First-time participants are men’s epeeist Kristian Boyadzhiev, men’s foilist Chris Colley and women’s foilist Mona Shaito.

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.

Men’s Epee
Kristian Boyadzhiev
Marco Canevari **

Men’s Foil
Chris Colley
Zain Shaito *

Men’s Sabre
Rhys Douglas *
Max Stearns **

Women’s Epee
Katarzyna Dabrowa *
Caroline Piasecka *

Women’s Foil
Allison Henvick **
Mona Shaito

Women’s Sabre
Alison Miller **
Margarita Tschomakova ***

* indicates previous appearances at NCAA championships