March 13, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The defending national champion Ohio State fencing team will make a run at the 2013 NCAA Championships March 21-24 with 11 qualifiers after the NCAA released the field of participants this week. The Buckeyes fell one short of the maximum 12 fencers allowed, but remain in the top echelon as one of only seven programs sending 10 or more student-athletes.
The field of 144 fencers represent 24 schools and will compete at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, in the event co-hosted by The University of the Incarnate Word and San Antonio Sports. The 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). Ohio State will be represented by two in each event except men’s saber.
Among the Ohio State fencers are reigning NCAA individual champions Zain Shaito (foil) and Katarzyna Dabrowa (epee) and a total of eight Buckeyes who have previous experience at the championships. Making their NCAA debuts will be: Daniel Tafoya (epee), Mai Shaito (foil) and Celine Merza (saber) with Mai joining sister Mona Shaito (foil) and brother Zain.
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.
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. Ohio State has three combined (men’s and women’s) titles to its credit, all under head coach Vladimir Nazlymov’s reign, in 2004, 2008 and 2012.