Ohio State athletes travel to Louisville for national competition

COLUMBUS, Ohio Thirty-two members of the defending national champion Ohio State fencing team will compete at the North American Cup (NAC) in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 16-19. Prominent Buckeyes competing include two-time defending foil national champion Andras Horanyi, NCAA women’s foil runner-up Oksana Dmytruk and two-time first-team All-American Mike Momtselidze.

The NAC is the title of a series of national tournaments held throughout the country each year and serves as the point system used for determining spots on U.S. National teams. The event is split into two divisions, Division I and junior. The Division I competition is used as a qualifier for national championships and selection for international competitions.

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 Tschomakova, 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.

Hanna Thompson and Jason Rogers, both alumni of the Ohio State fencing program, helped lead the United States to historic silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Thompson, a 2005 graduate, was one of three members of the seventh-seeded women’s foil team that captured the silver medal Saturday, the first Olympic medal in the event in U.S. history. Rogers, a 2006 graduate, followed in Thompson’s footsteps Sunday by helping lead the U.S. men’s saber squad to a silver medal, the team’s first medal since capturing bronze at the 1948 Summer Games. ###