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Fencers Enjoy Solid Showing At Midwest Regional Championships

March 10, 2001

The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams made a strong case to qualify the maximum 12 fencers for the NCAA Championships, following an impressive showing Saturday at the Midwest Regional Championships, held at the University of Detroit’s Calihan Hall.

The NCAA Fencing Committee will conduct a conference call on Thursday, March 15, to select the field for the 2001 NCAA Championships, to be held at Wisconsin-Parkside on March 23-26. Four fencers from the Midwest will be selected for each of the three men’s weapons and women’s sabre, with five advancing in women’s epee and foil. Selection is based on seeding prior to the regionals and finish at the regionals, with each school limited to two NCAA entrants per weapon.

Two Irish fencers won their respective weapons at the regional championship, with sophomore foilist Ozren Debic (Zagreb, Croatia) living up to his top seed while junior epeeist Brian Casas (Mishawaka, Ind.) may have surged into an NCAA spot after entering as the No. 8 seed (he also won the Midwest Fencing Conference men’s epee title following an inconsistent regular season).

Four other Notre Dame fencers claimed runner-up finishes at the regional, including sophomore men’s epee captain Jan Viviani (the top seed, from Haworth, N.J.), junior men’s foilist Steve Mautone (fifth seed, Short Hills, N.J.), junior men’s sabre Andre Crompton (third seed, Irvington, N.J.) and senior women’s sabre captain Carianne McCullough (second seed, Philadelphia, Pa.).

Notre Dame entered the day needing strong performances in three weapons-men’s epee, women’s epee and women’s foil-to solidify its chances of qualifying two fencers for the NCAAs in each weapon. Casas’ clutch performance gives the committee a tough decision at men’s epee, as Irish senior Scott Gabler (fifth seed, Chatsworth, Calif.) slipped to a seventh-place finish at the regional (Viviani is assured of the first Irish spot).

In women’s epee, Notre Dame sophomore Meagan Call (Eugene, Ore.) matched her seed with a fourth-place finish while her classmate Anna Carnick (Mishawaka, Ind.) will be hoping to claim the region’s fifth and final NCAA spot after a fifth-place finish at the regional (she entered as the sixth seed). Irish freshman foilist Maggie Jordan (Maplewood, N.J.) holds similar aspirations, after matching her seed with a fifth-place finish at the regional (sophomore Liza Boutsikaris, from Sparta, N.J., finished fourth, as the second seed).

The NCAA committee also could have a tough decision in selecting a second Irish men’s foilist to join Debic at the NCAAs. Mautone entered as the fourth seed before his runner-up finish while second-seeded Irish sophomore Forest Walton (Londonberry, N.H.) finished third. Notre Dame’s sabre squads solidified their grips on receiving a pair of NCAA spots, with Crompton and senior Andrzej Bednarski (the fourth seed) finishing second and third, respectively, while McCullough and fourth-seeded freshman Destanie Milo (third place, Knox, Ind.) turned in solid days on the women’s side.


* Casas won 16 of 17 bouts on Saturday, including an undefeated showing in the men’s epee final round-robin of 12 fencers to claim the title.

* Debic and Mautone tied in the finals with 10-2 records, with Debic then defeating Mautone in a fence-off for the championship (5-1).

* Wayne State’s Jakub Krochmalski claimed the men’s sabre title, followed by the Notre Dame trio of Crompton, Bednarski and sophomore Matt Fabricant (Elizabeth, N.J.).

* Northwestern’s Kate Rudkin claimed the women’s epee title, with Irish senior captain Kim DeMaio (Pompton Lakes, N.J.) concluding her career with an 11th-place finish. Wayne State’s Inga Wallrabenstein claimed the women’s foil title.

* Northwestern’s Carly Wells took the women’s sabre title, with Jessie Filkins (fifth seed, Wilmette, Ill.) finishing 10th to conclude her freshman season with the Irish.

Men’s Epee 1. Brian Casas, Notre Dame, 2. Jan Viviani, Notre Dame, 3. Axel Kr?wel, Wayne State, 4. Alan Jones, Ohio State, 5. Geoff Kane, Ohio State, 6. Tamir Stroewder, Cleveland State, 7. Scott Gabler, Notre Dame, 8. Paul Soderberg, Detroit, 9. Adam Lake, Lawrence, 10. Spencer Jones, Ohio State, 11. Brian Moore, Case Western Reserve, 12. Kevin Vargo, Case Western Reserve, 13. Liam O’Shea, Cleveland State, 14. Taylor Balwdin, Case Western Reserve, 15. Austin St Peter, Detroit, 16. Jason Murdoch, Wayne State, 17. Dan Therriault, Detroit.

Men’s Foil

1. Ozren Debic, Notre Dame, 2. Steve Mautone, Notre Dame, 3. Forest Walton, Notre Dame, 4. Eric McConkey, Cleveland State, 5. Greg Carlino, Ohio State, 6. Jeff Peyton, Lawrence, 7. Nathan Weir, Ohio State, 8. Rex Briones, Wayne State, 9. Kevin Dalley, Ohio State, 10. Dan Judge, Detroit, 11. Tim Costantio, Case Western Reserve, 12. Ian Chadd, Wayne State, 13. Joel Mathewson, Case Western Reserve, 14. Javier Rodr?guez, Detroit, 15. Ernest Meshack-Hart, Detroit

Men’s Sabre

1. Jakub Krochmalski, Wayne State, 2. Andr? Crompton, Notre Dame, 3. Andrzej Bednarski, Notre Dame, 4. Matt Fabricant, Notre Dame, 5. Marc Mathias, Wayne State, 6. Jonathan Ferris, Wayne State, 7. Kitzelin Siebert, Ohio State, 8. Guy Loftin, Ohio State, 9. Steve Buchi, Case Western Reserve, 10. Dan Genzer, Cleveland State, 11. Chris Malec, Case Western Reserve 12. Joe Costanzo, Cleveland State, 13. Kevin Clinton, Detroit, 14. Cory Theobald, Case Western Reserve, 15. James Bishop, Detroit

Women’s Epee

1. Kate Rudkin, Northwestern, 2. Marta Sciubisz, Wayne State’ 3. Alexandra Shklar, Ohio State, 4. Meagan Call, Notre Dame, 5. Anna Carnick, Notre Dame, 6. Jamie Rice, Ohio State, 7. Jennifer Greenebaum, Northwestern, 8. Jela Vaclavova, Detroit, 9. Joanna Aycock, Wayne State, 10. Meghan Gaseor, Northwestern, 11. Kim DeMaio, Notre Dame, 12. Madeline Gage, Detroit, 13. Brooke Miller, Lawrence, 14. Katherine Watts, Case Western Reserve, 15. Jennifer Thomas, Wayne State, 16. Joy Visnjic-Flaherty, Cleveland State, 17. Natalie Meyer, Detroit, 18. Elisa Beekman, Case Western Reserve, 19. Kristin Finkley, Case Western Reserve

Women’s Foil

1. Inga Wallrabenstein, Wayne State, 2. Fane Groes, Ohio State, 3. Kristen Dorf, Northwestern, 4. Liza Boutsikaris, Notre Dame, 5. Maggie Jordan, Notre Dame, 6. Marta Roselli, Cleveland State, 7. Eva Mendelsohn, Northwestern, 8. Maggie Kebrdle, Northwestern, 9. Marilena Morariu, Cleveland State, 10. Rebecca Lehman, Case Western Reserve, 11. Elizabeth Persson, Case Western Reserve, 12. Elizabeth Elder, Case Western Reserve, 13. Regina Briones, Wayne State, 14. Gabriel Hinojosa, Detroit, 15. Sara Switala, Detroit, 16. Stephanie Ashburn, Detroit

Women’s Sabre

1. Carly Wells, Northwestern, 2. Carianne McCullough, Notre Dame, 3. Destanie Milo, Notre Dame, 4. Sara Bowen, Ohio State, 5.Leah Tracy, Ohio State, 6. Jessica Brower, Northwestern, 7. Kate Frambach, Northwestern, 8. Heather Tietze, Detroit, 9. Florence Gansallo, Detroit, 10. Jessie Filkins, Notre Dame, 11. Amy Griffin, Wayne State, 12. Melanie Duda, Wayne State, 13. Kristin Smith, Detroit, 14. Rachel Ward, Case Western Reserve, 15. Vicki Vittaco, Case Western Reserve, 16. Angela Salisbury, Case Western Reserve