COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State fencing team will take to the road this weekend for the Garret Open hosted by Penn State in University Park, Pa. The two day will begin with women’s action on Saturday and finish with the men’s competition on Sunday.

The event will be the second of the year for the Buckeyes, but the first to include nationally ranked opponents against the Scarlet and Gray. Penn State captured its 10th national championship last season behind a dominate performance from the Nittany Lions’ women’s squad and will again be a major contender for the title.

The event is a non-team scoring event and will include current and former collegiate fencers.

Last season at the Garret Open, the Buckeyes opened their season with sensational performances from their top fencers.

Siobhan Byrne won the women’s sabre crown while teammate Eileen Grench took third. Mikhail Momtselidze kicked off the campaign with a second place finish in sabre, just behind volunteer assistant coach and three-time national champion Adam Crompton.

Mykhaylo Mazur and Jason Pryor each opened strong with Mazur finishing eighth and Pryor placing ninth in the men’s epee. In addition to Crompton, former Buckeye standout Boaz Ellis also competed and finished first in the men’s foil.

Eight members of the fencing team are currently listed in the national rankings. The highest spot belongs to junior Andras Horanyi, who comes in at fourth in the senior men’s foil. Other Top 10 performers are senior Eileen Grench, who is eighth in senior women’s sabre, and junior Mikhail Momtselidze who is 10th in senior men’s sabre. For Grench, the ranking comes on the heels of a silver-medal performance at the Pan-American Games this past summer with Team USA.

Also ranking are freshmen Colin Sutter and Ben Parkins, who are 14th and 25th, respectively, in the senior men’s foil. Fellow freshman Falencia Miller is tied for 19th in the senior women’s sabre while Lindsay Knauer has dropped to 42nd following an injury. Sean Harder rounds out the Buckeyes in the senior rankings with a 35th place spot in men’s epee.

Several Buckeyes also received nods in the junior rankings. Dexter Wilde, Robert Douville, along with Harder, Miller and Parkins all ranked nationally in the junior circuit. Hanna Thompson and Jason Paul, who competed for the Buckeyes from 2002-05, are each ranked in the Top 4 of their specialty. Former volunteer assistant coach Adam Crompton also ranks in the senior men’s sabre and current volunteer assistant coach Christian Rivera placed 20th in the senior men’s epee.

For the fifth-consecutive season the Ohio State fencing team finished in the Top 5 at the national championships in March. Also during that time the Buckeyes have won five Midwest Conference titles and in 2004 captured the second national championship in school history.

The rise to national prominence can be largely attributed to head coach Vladimir Nazlymov, who is now in his ninth year at Ohio State. Since Nazlymov arrived, eight Buckeye fencers have captured individual national titles and the team has gone a combined 321-78.

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