March 23, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Katarzyna Dabrowa, a sophomore epeeist on the Ohio State fencing team, claimed her first NCAA championship Friday afternoon in St. John Arena on the Ohio State campus. Overall, the Buckeyes saw five fencers earn All-America accolades.
Ohio State maintained its position at the top of the team leaderboard, tied with Princeton with 88 victories. Defending champion Notre Dame sits in third with 82 points while Penn State and St. John’s are tied for fourth with 81 points apiece.
Duke’s Rebecca Ward became the first women’s sabreist to earn three NCAA championships and the fifth female fencer to win three individual titles with a 15-12 victory over Penn State’s Monica Aksamit. Evgeniya Kirpicheva of St. John’s (N.Y.) claimed the foil crown with a 15-8 win over Penn’s Luona Wang.
Men’s competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday inside French Field House with the first four rounds of pool play.
Dabrowa earned a berth in the final four after notching 18 victories in the qualifying rounds, good for the third seed. The Wroclaw, Poland, native advanced past second-seeded Katherine Holmes of Princeton, 15-8, before facing 2010 champion Margherita Guzzi Vincenti of Penn State in the final bout. Dabrowa climbed out from a three-touch deficit to command a 14-13 lead before the two earned a double touch, giving the Buckeye the epee championship.
The individual title is the first for an Ohio State fencer since Andras Horanyi took gold in men’s foil at the 2008 NCAA Championships, also the last year the Scarlet and Gray won a team title. She is the second Ohio State woman to claim an individual title and the first since Yalena Kalkina won foil in 1997.
Dabrowa’s epee teammate, Caroline Piasecka, earned honorable mention All-American status after finishing ninth with 15 wins. The two gave Ohio State the second-strongest epee total of 33 victories, one off Princeton’s mark.
Standout freshman Mona Shaito earned a top seed in the final four after leading all fencers with 21 wins in the pools. Shaito ran into trouble in the semifinal bout, however, falling to Wang of Pennsylvania, who defeated Shaito, 5-4, in their qualifying matchup. Wang claimed the second meeting, 15-8, finishing Shaito’s run. The Texas native finished tied for third and earned first team All-America honors.
Allison Henvick added nine wins to finish 15th, helping the Buckeyes accumulate 30 victories to trail only St. John’s (N.Y.) (32) and Notre Dame (31).
Senior Margarita Tschomakova capped her collegiate career by being named a second team All-American with a seventh-place finish. The Bonn, Germany, native tallied 13 wins and edged Notre Dame’s Lian Osier and Nicole Glon, who also finished with 13 victories, with her +27 indicator. Tschomakova finished no lower than ninth during her four-year run at the NCAA championships.
After finishing 16th at the event as a freshman and sophomore, Alison Miller improved to an 11th-place showing with 12 wins, earning honorable mention All-America honors.
2012 NCAA Fencing Championships
Ohio State results
7. Margarita Tschomakova
11. Allison Miller
T3. Mona Shaito
15. Allison Henvick
1. Katarzyna Dabrowa
9. Caroline Piasecka