COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman Gabriel Feinberg claimed the NCAA men’s epee championship Sunday to lead the Ohio State fencing program at the 2022 NCAA Championships in South Bend, Ind. The Buckeyes placed fifth as a team, with Feinberg and Bence Bende leading the way for the men with Top 10 finishes on the final day. Five women placed in the Top 12 over the first two days of competition, paced by Camilla Rivano who finished tied for third.
Gabriel Feinberg, a freshman from Lincoln, Mass., won the men’s epee national championship. It is the fifth men’s epee NCAA crown in program history and the third straight when Ohio State has competed at the national site – Marc-Antoine Blais-Belanger won in 2018 and Oliver Schindler was the 2019 champion.
Feinberg was the No. 4 seed after going 15-8, with a +23 indicator, in round robin action. In the semifinals, he topped No. 1 seed Ian Sanders of NYU, 15-14. The Buckeye pulled away 12-8 but Sanders had five of the next six points for a 13-13 bout. It was then deadlocked at 14 before Feinberg recorded the winning touch. Against No. 2 seed Nicholas Lawson of Princeton in the final, the Buckeye was a 15-11 winner. The fencers were tied at six after the first break but Feinberg had four of the first five points to start the second session and go ahead 10-7 and Lawson was not able to draw closer than three from that point.
Buckeyes Finish Fifth in Team Standings
The Buckeyes placed fifth with 144 victories (+36 indicator). Notre Dame won the title (189 victories, +293), followed by Harvard (168, +241), Columbia/Barnard (168, +190) and Princeton (154, +94). Women’s foil led the Ohio State squad with 30 wins, followed by men’s epee with 28, women’s epee with 26 and women’s saber with 23. Men’s foil had 19 and men’s saber 18.
Ohio State has finished in the Top 6 each year it has competed since 2002.
Final team standings are determined by combining men’s and women’s results. An institution’s place finish in the championships is based on points earned by each individual. A team is awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes during round-robin competition. Ohio State had qualified the maximum 12 fencers – two per weapon, per gender – for the 2022 championships.
Day Two (Men’s Rounds 4-5, Semifinals and Final)
Bence Bende finished 10th in men’s epee to earn Honorable Mention All-America accolades. The junior was 13-10 over the two days (+10 indicator), with four wins Sunday. Feinberg was the No. 4 seed with a 15-8 record in round robin action, clinching a First Team All-America nod before entering the championship table. Both Buckeyes were at the NCAA Championships for the first time.
In men’s sabre, Nolan Williams and Roscoe Swartz finished 16th and 18th, respectively. They both posted three wins on the final day. Williams had 10 victories in his first NCAA Championship and Swartz, in his second trip to the NCAA Championship and third time qualifying, notched eight wins.
Diego Cervantes finished 14th and Edriss Ndiaye was 19th in men’s foil. Ndiaye had four wins Sunday and nine in the tournament, with Cervantes picking up three wins Sunday and 10 at the championships. The sophomores were making their first NCAA appearance; Cervantes also qualified in 2020 before the championships were canceled.
Day One (Rounds 1-3)
The Buckeyes ended the day in fifth place as a team with 123 wins, behind Notre Dame (155), Columbia/Barnard (138), Harvard (137) and Princeton (134).
The epee duo of Gabriel Feinberg and Bence Bende led the men on their first day of competition. Feinberg stood in fourth place after going 11-4, with a +22 indicator to rank third among the epee fencers. He started the day 6-1 in round 1, with a +16 indicator, and continued his hot streak with a 3-1 mark in round two (+8). Bende was in eighth through three rounds. He was 9-6 Saturday and had a +9 indicator.
In foil, Diego Cervantes was 14th and Edriss Ndiaye was 20th. Cervantes won eight bouts on Saturday (-2 indicator), with Ndiaye posting five victories (-15).
Nolan Williams stood in 15th and Roscoe Swartz was 19th in saber. Williams had seven wins on the day (-3), including a 4-0 mark in round two, and Swartz posted five victories (-23).
Swartz was the only Buckeye of the six men who had previous NCAA championship experience entering the 2022 event.