Oct. 25, 2004

EVANSTON, Ill. – Notre Dame freshman Jakub Jedrkowiak won the open foil competition last weekend at the annual Northwestern Remenyik Open while his classmate Greg Howard placed 8th in the open epee competition. The tournament included a mixture of college-age and older fencers, with updwards of 70 competitors per weapon (open foil, epee and sabre, plus women’s foil, epee and sabre).

Due to fall break and other commitments, just a handful of Notre Dame fencers (six men and three women) competed in the Remenyik Open, with sophomore Jesse Laeuchli turning in a solid 12th-place showing in the open epee while freshman Diego Quinonez competed in the open foil. Junior Matt Doherty added a 21st-place finish in the open sabre event, with senior John Espinosa also advancing out of the sabre pool competition to place 30th.

In the women’s events, senior epeeist Rebecca Chimahusky placed 12th while freshman Rachel Cota finished 17th in the foil competition (junior foilist Monica Real also competed at the Remenyik).

Many of the top Notre Dame fencers will be in action during the first week of November at the Junior World Cup event in Louisville, Ky. (Nov. 5-7), with those bouts to be held at the Galt House. Top Irish fencers expected to compete at that event include Howard, sophomore sabres Patrick Ghattas, Matt Stearns and Valerie Providenza, freshman sabre Mariel Zagunis and sophomore epeeist Amy Orlando.

Other pre-Christmas events include the annual Penn State Max Garret Open (Nov. 13-14), the Culver (Ind.) Cup Individuals (Dec. 4) and a North American Cup event in Richmond, Va. (Dec. 10-12), followed by another NAC competition in Kansas City, Kan. (Jan. 14-16).

The official start to Notre Dame’s competitive team season will be Jan. 23 at the NYU Duals (other teams set to compete include Columbia, Ohio State, St. John’s and Yale). The Irish will serve as the hosts for the annual Notre Dame Duals on Jan. 29-30 at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse – with several Midwest teams (including Ohio State), plus Duke and Cal State Fullerton – set to be on hand for that event.

Notre Dame’s regular-season team schedule then will conclude at the Ohio State Duals (Feb. 5, featuring various Midwest teams) and the Duke Duals (Feb. 11-12, also with Air Force, North Carolina and Stanford). Many of the younger Irish fencers then will compete at the Junior Olympics in Arlington, Texas, from Feb. 18-21.

The annual Midwest Fencing Conference Championships again will return to the Joyce Center on Feb. 26 (team events) and Feb. 27 (individuals) while the Midwest Regional event – serving as the final criteria for NCAA selection – will be held March 6 in Detroit at Wayne State University’s Main Gym.

The four-day NCAA combined men’s and women’s fencing championships will be held March 17-20 at the Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas (the men’s events will go first, with the potent Irish women’s squad then getting the chance to close the run at the national title on the 19th and 20th).