COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State fencing team travels to University Park, Pa. for the 2018 NCAA Fencing Championships this week. Hosted by Penn State University, the event will run from Mar. 22-25, with championship bouts taking place at 1p.m. on the 23rd and 25th.
The format of the event will be round-robin fencing of five-touch bouts. The top-four finishers in each weapon will fence in 15-touch semi-final bouts. The winners will fence to determine first and second place while those who do not advance will be awarded a tie for third place. The overall team finish will be based on points earned by each individual fencer. Each victory by the fencers will award the team once point.
The Buckeyes have proven to be successful at the NCAA Championships. For the past 16 years, Ohio State has finished in the top-5, including three national titles (2004, 2008, and 2012). The team’s last two championship appearances resulted in runner-up finishes.
Maximilien Chastanet is the only Buckeye who is returning to the championships with a national championship in his career. He won gold in foil at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
GET TO KNOW THE QUALIFIERS
For the Scarlet and Gray, twelve fencers will fight for their chance at a national title. Of those twelve, eight are championship veterans. Ohio State is one of three teams that qualified the maximum 12 fencers for the championships. The other teams are Columbia and Notre Dame.
On the No. 1 men’s squad, four of the qualifiers for the men’s squad will be making their fourth appearance at the championships. Seniors Marc-Antoine Blais Belanger, Maximilien Chastanet, Stas Sudilovsky, and Lewis Weiss all have fenced on this championship stage three times before. Frederik Koch and Domenik Koch will both be making their second appearance at the championships.
The highest finishes by the men’s qualifiers are:
2 – Blais Belanger
1 – Chastanet
7 – Sudilovsky
3T – Weiss
10 – D. Koch
10 – F. Koch
The No. 3 women’s team has a range of experience. The squad has two who have fenced in the NCAA Championships before, Sarah Merza and Emma von Dadelszen. Both have qualified for the finals each year of their Ohio State career, with Merza’s highest finish being fifth place at last year’s event and von Dadelszen placing twelfth in 2016. Maddalena Bosetti, Gabriela Cecchini, Camilla Rivano, and Alexanne Verret are all making their NCAA Championship debut.
FOLLOWING THE BUCKEYES
You can follow along with all of the action at the live stats link. Additionally, ESPN will be covering the semi-final and final bouts of the 2018 NCAA Fencing Championships. Tune into ESPN3 or stream it in the WatchESPN App.