Courtney Hurley notched 13 wins on day three of competition at the 2009 NCAA Fencing Championship.

Irish Fencers Impressive At North American Cup D

Jan. 19, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Irish had an impressive showing at the North American Cup D event held at the Kentucky International Convention Center from Jan. 16-19. Freshmen Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas/Earl Warren) and Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif./Lick-Wilmerding HS), as well as sophomore Avery Zuck (Beaverton, Ore./Jesuit), took gold medal honors in their respective weapons. Combined, the Irish boasted five top-five finishers.

Meinhardt, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, finished first in men’s foil as he made it through a field of 188 entrants from across the world. Also participating in the men’s foil draw were Zach Schirtz (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena), Mark Kubik (San Antonio, Texas/Reagan) and Steve Kubik (San Antonio, Texas/Reagan). Schirtz, a sophomore, finished 55th, senior M. Kubik 57th and S. Kubik, a sophomore, tied for 83rd.

Senior Karol Kostka had a strong showing in men’s epee as he finished fifth. The two-time All-American’s showing proved to be even more impressive as the epee field featured 245 entrants, the largest player-pool at the event. Freshman Christopher Pinkowski (Simi Valley, Calif./Chaminade College Prep) finished 202nd overall.

The men’s sabre field of 113 athletes featured Zuck, Barron Nydam (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian), Keith Feldman (Stony Brook, N.Y./Ward Melville), Marcel Frenkel (San Paulo, Brazil/St. Paul’s) and Ted Hodges (Salina, Kan./Salina Central). Zuck finished first, while Nydam joined his classmate as a medalist, finishing tied for third. Feldman finished in 38th-place, while Frenkel placed 93rd.

Hurley’s strong 2008-09 campaign continued as she took the gold in women’s epee, finishing ahead of 111 other entrants. The freshman has also earned gold medal finishes in Tauber, Germany and Montreal, Canada in recent Junior World Cup events. Freshman Diane Zielinski (Bernardsville, N.J./Bernards) placed 43rd.

Three of the 98 women’s foil entrants were from Notre Dame. Of the trio, sophomore Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky./Oldham Country) had the best showing with a 17th-place finish. Freshman Radmila Sarkisova (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills) finished 24th and freshman Darsie Malynn (Grapevine, Texas/Colleyville Heritage HS) placed 41st.

In women’s sabre, freshman Beatriz Almeida (Beaverton, Ore./Beaverton) placed 61st out of 92 entrants and senior Ashley Serrette (Orange, N.J./Oak Knoll School) placed 91st.

The US Fencing Association organizes the North American Cup tournaments throughout each year. US Fencing members are eligible to enter NAC tournaments if they meet the criteria of the specific competition. NAC tournaments are also open to foreign fencers who have an FIE license valid for the current season or who can show proof of membership in another fencing federation, and who meet age/classification requirements for a given NAC tournament.

The 2008-09 men’s and women’s fencing teams will open their dual-match season on January 24 at the St. John’s Duals in Queens, N.Y.

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