Ohio State fencing welcomes nine freshmen to the program this season. These new Buckeyes hail from four states, including three Ohio natives, and two different countries. Collectively, they hold five Junior Olympic appearances and one appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Foil: James Flanagan (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Epee: Bence Bende (Gyöngyösfalu, Hungary) | Alex Mason (Westerville, Ohio) | Kristen Ruscitelli (Dayton, Ohio)
Sabre: Benjamin Levitt (Livingston, N.J.) | Evie Bustamante (Portland, Ore.) | Stephen Chou (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) | Jadon Montgomery (Lewis Center, Ohio) | Julieta Toledo (Tijuana, Mexico)
Here are some things the freshman class will add to the team this season according to coach Donald Anthony Jr.:
On talent and experience
“Ohio State fencing has a very talented freshman class this year with a number of exceptional athletes entering in both the fall and spring semesters. Julieta Toledo, Bence Bend, Ben Levitt and Evie Bustamante all bring substantial international experience which will help the team.”
On physical strength
The team, from freshmen to seniors, has been working closely with strength and conditioning coaches to take them to a new level of physical preparedness for the upcoming season.
Senior Natalia Falkowski has organized a buddy system, which pairs the freshmen with veteran team members. Coach Anthony says the system has helped them integrate rapidly into the team.
Stay tuned for more on the Class of 2023 and the rest of the fencing Buckeyes this season.