March 18, 1999

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Notre Dame fencing team is in sixth place with 27 points after the first day of competition at 1999 NCAA championships. With only men’s foil and sabre fencing on Thursday, Columbia has the lead with 40 points. Four-time defending NCAA champions, Penn State, is in second with 38 points, while third place St. John’s trails the Nittany Lions by one point. Princeton is in fourth place with 34 points and Stanford is in fifth with 28 points.

The men’s foil team, represented by senior captain Stephane Auriol and junior Charles Hayes, combined for 10 of the 27 Irish points. Auriol went 4-10 on the day and is in 17th place. Hayes posted a 6-8 record which currently places him at 14th in the standings. Auriol and Hayes went a combined 0-4 in head-to-head competition with Penn State, the only other school to qualify 10 fencers along with the Irish. Stanford’s Felix Reichling is in first place with a 14-0 record.

The Irish sabremen at the NCAA championships are three-time All-American and 1998 NCAA sabre champion Luke LaValle and freshman Gabor Szelle. LaValle is in 14th place after finishing the day with a 6-8 record. Szelle posted 11 wins against three losses and is in fourth place. The Irish sabremen went 2-2 in their head-to-head duels with Penn State. St. John’s Keeth Smart, the 1997 NCAA champion, leads the sabre competition with a 13-1 record.

On Friday at Brandeis University, the men’s foil and sabre competition will conclude and the men’s epee competition will begin. Irish epeeists Brian Casas and James Gaither will fence in their first NCAA championships, while All-Americans Myriah Brown, Sara Walsh, Magda Krol and Nicole Mustilli will be in action on Saturday and Sunday.