Senior Karol Kostka medaled in his fourth-straight NCAA Regional.

Irish Men's Fencers Combine For Three Medals At NCAA Midwest Regional

March 8, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Notre Dame men’s fencing team turned in three medalist finishes at the NCAA Midwest Regional, led by Avery Zuck’s (Beaverton, Ore.) second place finish in sabre. Senior captain Karol Kostka (Krakow, Poland) took home the bronze in epee, while freshman Enzo Castellani (Keller, Texas) also earned a bronze in foil. Additionally, 10 of Notre Dame’s 12 entrants made their weapon’s final eight direct elimination tables, including all four sabreists.

Men’s Epee

Kostka once again led the epee contingent as he turned in a top-three performance. He advanced to the final eight table as the second seed where he defeated John Marshall of Cleveland State to advance to the semifinals, 15-12. But in the semifinals he was edged by sixth-seeded and eventual champion Slava Zingerman of Wayne State, 15-14. In the bronze medal bout, Kostka downed Ohio State’s top-seeded Igor Tolkachev, 15-11. Kostka has now medaled at the NCAA Regionals in each of the past four seasons (first in 2008, third in 2006, 2007 & 2009).

Greg Schoolcraft (San Jose, Calif.) also had a strong showing for the Irish as he turned in a fifth place performance, one place ahead of sixth-place finisher Brent Kelly (Grapevine, Texas). Ohio State’s Jason Pryor defeated Schoolcraft in their first match in the final eight. But Schoolcraft then rallied off two wins to take fifth. In the fifth-place bout, Schoolcraft downed teammate Kelly in a closely contested match that went down to the wire, 15-14. Rounding out the Irish epee contingent was sophomore Jacob Osborne (Colleyville, Texas), who finished in 10th.

Men’s Foil

The men boasted three of the top-five finishers in foil, led by Castellani’s bronze medal finish. In final eight table, the fourth-seeded Castellani outlasted his Irish teammate Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.), 15-13, to advance to the semifinals. But in the semis, Castellani was downed by top-seeded and eventual champion Andras Horanyi of Ohio State, 15-8. In the third-place bout, Castellani was matched up against teammate Reggie Bentley (Little Rock, Ark.), with Castellani proving victorious, 15-8. Bentley had won his final-eight bout versus Ben Parkins of Ohio State, 15-11, to advance to the semifinals. He then fell to Colin Sutter 15-13 in the semifinals.

After dropping his final-eight bout to Castellani, Meinhardt won two straight to finish fifth. He out-touched his final two opponents by a 30-3 margin, including a 15-3 win over Parkins in the fifth-place bout. Senior captain Mark Kubik (San Antonio, Texas) finished ninth.

Men’s Sabre

Notre Dame’s sabre contingent placed four in the final eight table, with Zuck making a run to the championship bout. He downed teammate Keith Feldman (Stony Brook, N.Y.), 15-5, to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, he overcame Ohio State’s Dexter Wilde, 15-9, for a place in the finals. But his run came to an end in the finals as he was beaten by top-seeded Mikhail Momtselidze of Ohio State, 15-9.

Notre Dame’s next finisher was Barron Nydam (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.), as he came in fifth. After Max Stearns knocked Nydam out in the final round of eight, Nydam won two in a row, including a 15-7 win over teammate Bill Thanhouser (Portland, Ore.) in the fifth-place bout. Thanhouser, who entered the final eight as the second seed, notched a 15-13 win over Feldman to advance to the fifth-place bout. Feldman finished eighth.

The Notre Dame fencing team will be back in action on March 22-25 when it travels to State College, Pa. in search of the program’s eighth NCAA national championship. After a strong showing at the NCAA Midwest Regionals, the Irish are looking to qualify the maximum of 12 fencers for the championship. On Tuesday, March 10, the Irish will learn exactly who has been selected to participate in the NCAA Championship event. Details will be posted on as they become available.

Men's EpeePlace   Fencer          School1   Slava Zingerman     Wayne State2   Jason Pryor     Ohio State3   Karol Kostka        Notre Dame4   Igor Tolkachev      Ohio State5   Greg Schoolcraft        Notre Dame6   Brent Kelly     Notre Dame7   Sean Harder     Ohio State8   John Marshall       Cleveland State9   Eric Gurnowski      Ohio State10  Jacob Osborne      Notre Dame11  Mykhaylo Mazur      Wayne State12  Andy Snell      Cleveland State13  Jordan Hoyt     Wayne State14  Joe Fresard     Wayne State
Men's FoilPlace Fencer School1 Andras Horanyi Ohio State2 Colin Sutter Ohio State3 Enzo Castellani Notre Dame4 Reggie Bentley Notre Dame5 Gerek Meinhardt Notre Dame6 Ben Parkins Ohio State7 Craig Budzynski Detroit8 Joe Streb Ohio State9 Mark Kubik Notre Dame10 Liran Gross Cleveland State11 Michael Purdy-Sachs Detroit12 Tim Mulligan Wayne State13 Rafi Nersessian Wayne State14 Brad Coon Detroit15 Michael Ramlow Wayne State16 Stephen Montgomery Cleveland State
Men's SabrePlace Fencer School1 Mikhail Momtselidze Ohio State2 Avery Zuck Notre Dame3 Max Stearns Ohio State4 Dexter Wilde Ohio State5 Barron Nydam Notre Dame6 Bill Thanhouser Notre Dame7 Jakub Gibczynski Wayne State8 Keith Feldman Notre Dame9 John Friend Ohio State10 Doug Sollman Detroit11 Tom Lorenzo Detroit12 Jason Heiss Cleveland State13 Alex Chee Lawrence14 Michael Danelia Detroit

— ND —