COLUMBUS, Ohio When the Ohio State fencing team takes the strip for the NCAA Championships beginning Thursday in French Field House, the Buckeyes will be on a mission to claim their second team championship in program history and third title overall.
The OSU men won the national championship in 1942. The first combined men’s and women’s team title came in 2004, when a team that featured six returning All-Americans, a reigning national champion and a future Olympian topped second place Penn State by 34 points.
The 2004 team, which was led by returning national champion Adam Crompton, claimed two individual titles during the competition, with Crompton defending his sabre crown and freshman Boaz Ellis winning the first of his eventual three national titles in foil. Denis Tolkachev claimed his first career All-American honor with a fourth place finish in men’s epee, while Spencer Jones took 10th in epee to garner his second All-American recognition.
The women’s side was led by junior sabreist Louise Bond-Williams and junior foilist Hanna Thompson, who each claimed a bronze medal. Kaela Brendler, now a fifth-year senior on the 2008 squad, finished seventh in epee in 2004 to garner second-team All-American honors. Teammate and three-time All-American Alexandra Shklar placed eighth in epee, while Marguerite Plakhanov took 10th in sabre.
Other finishers for the Buckeyes included Metta Thompson, who placed fifth in women’s foil, Jason Paul, who took ninth in men’s sabre and Nathan Weir, who finished 11th in men’s epee.
In 2005, the Scarlet and Gray nearly repeated as champions, but were clipped narrowly by Notre Dame, losing by only two points, 173-171. Ohio State returned one year later in 2006, but again were denied, losing by just 10 points to first-place Harvard and finishing third.
Last season at the 2007 national championships, despite being ravaged by injury on the women’s side, the Buckeyes managed a fifth place finish at the championships.
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