Ohio State looks to stay sharp in tune-up for Midwest Conference Championship

COLUMBUS, Ohio The defending national champion Ohio State fencing team will compete at the Northwestern Duals in Evanston Ill., Saturday and Sunday. The event is the final collegiate competition for the Buckeyes before they head to the Midwest Conference Championships Feb. 28-March 1.

Ohio State competed last weekend at the St. Johns Duals and the New York University Duals in New York, N.Y. The Buckeye men went a combined 8-1 between the two events, while the Ohio State women’s team was 6-3 on the weekend.

Perhaps the most anticipated dual of the weekend came on Sunday ay the NYU Duals, where Ohio State took on 2008 runner-up Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish prevailed in the men’s competition, 15-12, while on the women’s side it was the Buckeyes knocking off Notre Dame, 14-13. The women’s foil unit came up big, with Oksana Dmytruk winning all three points and Lindsay Knauer taking two duals. Both Igor Tolkachev and Jason Pryor contributed two wins for the Buckeye men’s epee team, while Mike Momtselidze won two fights in sabre.

Other notable matches for Ohio State at the NYU Duals included the men’s team defeating both St. John’s and Columbia, 17-10, while the women picked up a 15-12 win over Northwestern and an 18-9 victory over St. John’s.

The Ohio State men turned in a perfect 3-0 record on Saturday at the St. John’s Duals, with wins over Columbia, St. John’s and Harvard. The Buckeye women went 1-2, beating St. John’s but falling to Columbia and Harvard.

The Junior Olympics in Albuquerque, N.M., Feb. 13-16, follow the Northwestern Duals. The Scarlet and Gray then travel to Notre Dame, Ind., for the Midwest Conference Championships Feb. 28-March 1 in search of their seventh-consecutive conference title.

Ohio State will stay in Columbus for the Midwest Regional Qualifier March 7 and then wrap up the collegiate schedule March 22-25 at the NCAA Championships in State College, Pa., on the campus of Penn State.

Both the men’s and women’s foil squads had outstanding showing at the Division I North American Cup in Louisville, Ky., last weekend, headlined by sophomore Oksana Dmytruk and senior Andras Horanyi, who recorded third place finishes in women’s and men’s foil, respectively. Lindsay Knauer took home a 27th-place finish in women’s foil while Ben Parkins finished 41st and Joe Streb took 58th on the men’s side.

Igor Tolkachev placed 13th and Jason Pryor finished 19th out of 245 competitors in men’s epee while Julia Tikhonova took 21st in women’s epee. Miriam Baranov earned a tie for 38th-place while Mary Pozydaev was 53rd. Eric Gurnowski and Bishara Korkor also recorded Top-100 finishes on the men’s side.

Senior Mike Momtselidze was outstanding in men’s sabre, finishing eighth, while Emily Cheng, Falencia Miller and Margarita Tschomakov took 13th, 21st and 23rd places, respectively, on the women’s side. Tom Friend finished 39th and Robert Douville took 48th on the men’s side.

Members of the fencing team competed Dec. 12-15 at the Division I North American Cup in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The top performers for the Buckeyes were senior Mike Momtselidze, who came in sixth in men’s sabre, senior Andras Horanyi, who finished fifth in men’s foil and sophomore Oksana Dmytruk, who placed third in women’s foil. Sophomore Ben Parkins also put forth a successful showing, finishing eighth in men’s foil, while senior Jason Pryor took eighth place in men’s epee.

Other top performers included Margarita Tschomakov, who finished 15th in women’s sabre, Joe Streb, who placed 17th in men’s foil and Igor Tolkachev, who placed 21st in men’s epee.

Head coach Vladimir Nazlymov was named the National Coach of the Year by the United States Fencing Association.

Nazylmov, who is entering his 10th season at the helm of the fencing team, helped guide the Buckeyes to their second combined team championship in program history last season. The fencing program has seen a resurgence since Nazlymov came to Ohio State in 1998, with the team collecting six conference titles and 34 Buckeyes earning All-American honors over that span.

The National Coach of the Year award is presented annually by the United States Fencing Association to the coach whose contributions help to elevate the status of the coaching profession.