March 16, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish fencing team qualified the maximum 12 fencers for the upcoming NCAA Championship it was announced by the NCAA National Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Harvard University will host the championships at the Gordon Track Center, March 25-28, in Boston, Massachusetts. The Irish will be in pursuit of the program’s eighth national title.
After posting a 68-0 record and combining for the first undefeated regular season in 19 years, the Irish men and women captured the Midwest Fencing Conference Championship for the first time since 2002. This past weekend at the NCAA Midwest Regional, Irish women’s sabreist Eileen Hassett (Beavertone, Ore.), women’s epeeist Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and men’s foilist Gerek Meinhardt (San Fransisco, Calif.) won gold medals to automatically qualify for the 2010 NCAA Championships.
That trio will be joined at the 2010 NCAA Championships by men’s foilist Enzo Castellani (Keller, Texas), men’s epeeists James Kaull (Washinton, D.C.) and Greg Schoolcraft (San Jose, Calif.) as well as sabreists Barron Nydam (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.) and Avery Zuck (Beaverton, Ore.) on the men’s side. Joining Hassett and C. Hurley in the women’s field will be epeeist Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), foilists Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky.) and Darsie Malynn (Grapevine, Texas) and sabreist Sarah Borrmann.
Though it is a young group of fencers, led by only one senior in Kelley Hurley, the Irish contingent has combined for 16 NCAA Championship appearances and six medalist finishes. The 2010 contingent will be led by 2008 women’s sabre champion and Borrmann and 2008 women’s epee champion Kelley Hurley.
2010 marks the eighth time the Irish have qualified 12 fencers for NCAAs. Notre Dame also sent 12 fencers to the championship from 2000-03 as well as in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Harvard, Penn State, Princeton and St. John’s also qualified 12 fencers for championship play, as did the Nittany Lions of Penn State.
The Irish will be seeking their eighth NCAA Championship in program history, and their first since 2005. In 2008 and 2009, Notre Dame finished second to rival Ohio State. Notre Dame has won the combined national championship in 1994, 2003 and 2005. The Fighting Irish claimed the men’s title in 1977, 1978 and 1986. The Notre Dame women captured the NCAA crown in 1987.
Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four fencers fence semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the losers being awarded a tie for third place. Absolute ties for the seeding will be broken as follows: for positions one through three, by a coin toss; for position four, by a fence-off.
An institution’s place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships.
Check back with UND.com for a complete Fighting Irish preview and notes package as the 2010 fencing championship approaches.
Notre Dame’s 2010 NCAA Championship Participants