March 19, 2018
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former University of Notre Dame national champion fencer Lee Kiefer claimed her third international podium finish of the season Sunday, placing third at the Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix held over the weekend in Anaheim, California.
Kiefer, who wrapped up her Irish career last season as one of the most decorated collegiate athletes in history, is ranked third in the world in women’s foil and entered the weekend as the defending champion in the event.
Other foilists with Irish ties performed well at the event, as well. Current freshman Nick Itkin was one of five American men to finish in the top 32 (he was 32nd) and one of a record 11 to advance to the table of 64. Also in that group were alum Gerek Meinhardt (’13, ’15 MBA), who finished 35th, and junior Axel Kiefer, who was 47th. Senior Hazem Khazbak also competed for Egypt and placed 123rd.
Competing on the women’s side were sophomore Finnula Mageras (83rd), Madison Zeiss (’15, 93rd), freshman Stefani Deschner (112th), sophomore Samantha Viqueira (113th), junior Elyssa Kleiner (117th), freshman Erica Tsai (121st) and sophomore Morgan Partridge (130th).
The Irish are back in action this week at the NCAA Championships, hosted by Penn State University from March 22-25 at the Multi-Sport Facility. The Irish qualified the maximum 12 fencers to compete at this year’s championships and will look to repeat their 2017 national title.
Absolute Fencing Gear FIE Grand Prix Anaheim Women’s Results
3. Lee Kiefer
83. Finnula Mageras (Ireland)
93. Madison Zeiss (’15)
112. Stefani Deschner
113. Samantha Viqueira
117. Elyssa Kleiner121. Erica Tsai (Taipei)
130. Morgan Partridge
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame men’s tennis and fencing programs, in addition to assisting with football communications and overseeing production of the football Gameday Magazine. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.