Buckeyes to compete against national elite at St. Johns Duals and New York University Duals

COLUMBUS, Ohio The defending national champion Ohio State fencing team will travel to New York, N.Y., this weekend for the St. John’s Duals Saturday and the New York University Duals Sunday. The duals will be the first team events this season for the Buckeyes.

The weekend duals will also be the first time since last year’s NCAA championship that the Buckeyes see other powerhouse programs like Notre Dame, Columbia, St. John’s and Harvard. Last season, Ohio State defeated Notre Dame by nine points to win the third national title in program history.

Other teams competing at the duals include: Yale, New York University, Wayne State, Northwestern and Stevens Tech.

As the United States welcomes in a new commander-in-chief, we look back at the fencing team’s trip to the White House last June for the Day of Champions.

Click on the photo album above to see photos from the trip to the White House and meeting with President Bush.

The weekend in New York City is just the beginning of an action-packed two months for the Buckeye fencing team. The Northwestern Duals in Evanston, Ill., await Ohio State Jan. 31-Feb. 1, followed by the Junior Olympics in Albuquerque, N.M., Feb. 13-16.

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 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, the first Olympic medal in the event in U.S. history. Rogers, a 2006 graduate, followed in Thompson’s footsteps 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.