April 1, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Being a two-time Olympian, two-time NCAA Champion, and four-time first-team All-American certainly comes with perks. Graduate Student Gerek Meinhardt of the Notre Dame fencing team will be included in Sports Illustrated’s April 7th edition of Faces In The Crowd. He is the second fencer with ties to the Notre Dame program to be featured after Courtney Hurley made the Feb. 11 issue last year.
“I’m always excited to see fencing get national publicity,” Meinhardt says. “It’s especially meaningful that our great program here at Notre Dame is getting recognition, and I’m looking forward to picking up next month’ s issue.”
The weekly feature has been a part of Sports Illustrated magazine since 1956 and highlights amateur athletes around the country for their athletic feats. Other notable Irish athletes to be featured were Morgan Andrews and Kerri Hanks of women’s soccer, Joe Lapira of men’s soccer and Matt Kavanagh from the men’s lacrosse team.
Meinhardt has been a staunch competitor for the Irish fencing program since fall 2008. He started at the University shortly after his first Olympic games and has provided a veteran presence and international expertise to the foil squad ever since.
Meinhardt recently completed his final year of eligibility with the Irish by clinching his second NCAA Men’s Foil Championship, besting David Willette of Penn State 15-12. Meinhardt enters the record books as a four-time, first-team All-American after having finished second at the 2009 Championships, winning his first title in 2010, and finishing tied for third in 2013.
He boasts an impressive 103-9 career record and stands ninth in the list of top 30 Notre Dame fencers by win/loss percentage (.920). Meinhardt is also third in the career winning percentage (40 or more wins) foil-only list, above legendary former coach Mike DeCicco.