Emma Reaney

Notre Dame Fencers Ariel DeSmet and Lee Kiefer Named ACC Men's and Women's Fencing Scholar-Athletes of the Year

April 30, 2015

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame received word throughout the week that several members of the men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and men’s and women’s fencing teams were named to an All-ACC Academic Team for their respective winter sports. Highlighting the group of 27 student-athletes were foilists Ariel DeSmet (Sr., Troutdale, Oregon) and Lee Kiefer (Jr., Versailles, Kentucky), who were respectively named the men’s and women’s fencing Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

The ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award was established in September 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athlete in their respective sports. Candidates for the award must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average for their career as well as a 3.0 for each of the last two semesters.

DeSmet, a first-time team captain on the men’s foil squad, finished his final year of eligibility tied for third at the NCAA Championships. He finished the season 37-12, and boasts a 130-30 career record. At the first ACC Men’s Fencing Championship since 1980, DeSmet came in second to teammate Virgile Collineau, and earned the Men’s Team MVP award. He was also crowned the ACC Men’s Foilist of the Year. DeSmet will graduate in May with a degree in Management Entrepreneurship, and has a 3.398 GPA.

Kiefer had an absolutely dominating season for the Irish in 2014-15, competing not only on the collegiate circuit but also at international events. She currently holds a 117-18 record with the Irish, and is ranked No. 3 in the world in the women’s senior foil division. She capped her third year with the Irish with her third straight NCAA women’s foil title, and was crowned the first-ever ACC Women’s foil champion before going on to be named both ACC Women’s team MVP and Women’s Foilist of the year – after having earned ACC Women’s Fencer of the Week accolades on Feb. 4th, 2015. She is enrolled in the College of Science as a Science Pre-Professional major with a 3.612 GPA.

Other fencers that were recognized as members of the ACC All-Academic team were (for the men’s team) Garrett McGrath (Jr., Mesa, Arizona, Computer Science); John Hallsten (Jr. Sacramento, California, Science Pre-Professional); Jonah Shainberg (Fr., Rye, New York, Undeclared); Nicholas Hanahan (Fr., Indianapolis, Indiana, Undeclared) and Collineau (So., Aix-en-Provence, France, Economics). On the women’s side, epee captains Ashley Severson (Sr., Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, Political Science) and Nicole Ameli (Sr., Las Vegas, Nevada, Science Pre-Professional) joined Kiefer, in addition to sabreuses Clauda Kulmacz (Fr., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Undeclared) and Francesca Russo (Fr., Wayne, New Jersey, Undeclared).

McGrath, Hanahan, Shainberg and Collineau all competed at both the ACC and NCAA Championships, helping the men’s team clinch the ACC men’s team title and earning valuable points for the Irish in the NCAA standings early on. Collineau, who beat DeSmet for the ACC men’s foil title, finished 11th at NCAAs and earned third-team All-America honors. Shainberg came in second to teammate Jonathan Fitzgerald at the ACC Tournament in men’s sabre, but rallied to finish 12th at NCAAs and also earn third-team All-America accolades. McGrath won the ACC men’s epee title, but came just shy of earning his own All-American honors with a 13th place standing. Hanahan, competing in his first NCAA tournament, finished 22nd. Hallsten served as the men’s sabre captain in his third year with the Irish, and came in fourth place at the ACC Tournament, finishing the year 38-25 – bringing his career tally to 118-69.

On the women’s side, Russo finished fifth at the ACC Championships but went on to clinch the NCAA women’s sabre title in her first season with the Irish. The savvy sabreur joins Kiefer as an international competitor, competing in the junior division. She finished the year with a 52-13 mark and was named ACC Women’s Fencer of the Week on Nov. 18, 2014. Squad partner Kulmacz finished with a 51-21 mark on the year, and came in second at the ACC Tournament, 13th at NCAAs.

Ameli was crowned the first-ever ACC Women’s Epee Champion and finished 13th at her final NCAA Championships, culminating her career with a 184-85 mark. Severson, who finished second to Ameli at the ACC Tournament, came in ninth at the NCAA Tournament and earned third-team All-America accolades. She was named ACC co-Women’s Epeeist of the Year alongside Boston College’s Olivia Adragna, and holds a 178-40 career record.


In swimming, five individuals – Andrew Jensen and Cameron Miller from the men’s team, and Emma Gaboury, Sherri McIntee and Emma Reaney from the women’s team – were honored, with Miller and Reaney both earning their second career All-Academic accolade.

Jensen, a junior breastroker from Sugar Land, Texas, had his best season with the Irish, earning a berth on the 16-man ACC Championship squad. He swam a personal best time of 55.26 in the 100 breast at the ACC Championship meet, and routinely finished in the top 10 throughout the regular season. He holds a 3.739 GPA and is a Science Pre-professional Major within the College of Science.

Miller, a senior breastroker and IM-er from Michigan City, Indiana, competed as one of three senior breaststrokers for the Irish in 2014-15. Miller qualified for the “C” finals in the 200 IM at the ACC Championships, finishing 24th (1:49.03). He also qualified for the “B” finals in the 100 and 200 breast at the same meet, finishing 13th (54.50) and 11th respectively (1:57.21). Miller holds a 3.279 GPA and is set to graduate in May with a degree in Science-Business from the College of Science.

Gaboury, a diver from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, had a breakthrough junior campaign in 2015 that saw her compete at both the ACC and NCAA Zone C Championship meets. After finishing in the top two on both the 1- and 3-meter boards and topping 300 points for the first time on the 1-meter board in a dual meet against Illinois, Gaboury was named ACC Female Diver of the Week November 18, 2014. She holds a 3.443 GPA through five semesters at Notre Dame, and is working towards a Science Pre-Professional degree from the College of Science.

McIntee, a breastroke specialist from Carlsbad, California, qualified for the “C” finals in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the ACC Championships. During the year, she routinely dropped huge amounts of time off her previous bests in both events, eventually becoming one of just two freshmen on the team to qualify for the ACC Championships. McIntee sported a 4.000 GPA in her first semester under the Golden Dome while participating in the First Year of Studies program.

The most decorated men’s or women’s swimmer or diver in school history, Reaney put the finishing touches on a historic career at Notre Dame with an outstanding senior year. She won three All-America citations in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 IM after winning the 100 breast individual title at the ACC Championships. The 2014 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Reaney is now a two-time ACC All-Academic selection. The Lawrence, Kansas native sports a 3.654 GPA in Design with a concentration in Visual Communications from the College of Arts & Letters.


The men’s track and field team saw Michael Clevenger (distance), Christopher Giesting (sprints) and Brent Swanberg (multi-events) honored, while no less than seven individuals made the women’s honor roll (Danielle Aragon, Margaret Bamgbose, Mary-Esther Gourdin, Jessica Harris, Emily Morris, Rachel Rhodes and Molly Seidel).

Clevenger placed fourth in the infamous `Meyo Mile’ race at the Meyo Invitational and set a personal best time of 4:02.33 in the process, before finishing seventh in the 3,000m race and 11th in the 5,000m event at the ACC Indoor Championships. A junior from Decatur, Illinois, he holds a 3.217 GPA and is pursuing a degree in Accountancy.

Geisting, who was named both the indoor and outdoor ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s track and field last season, is on track to have another record-breaking season in the 2014-15 schoolyear. To date, he has set school records in the 200m (at Razorback Invitational, 21.02) and 600m (Notre Dame Invitational, 1:16.70), in addition to earning All-ACC first team recognition for his second place finish in the 400m (46.78). He also went on to be crowned a second-team All-American in the 400m after finishing ninth in the preliminary race at the NCAA Indoor Championships (46.46). Giesting hails from Batesville, Indiana, and holds a 3.374 GPA. He will graduate in May with a degree in Management Entrepreneurship.

Swanberg notably earned second-team All-ACC honors in the men’s heptathlon event, finishing fifth at the ACC Indoor Championships with a combined point total of 5,201. A junior from Manhattan, Illinois, he currently holds a 3.586 GPA and is pursuing a degree in Finance.

Aragon, younger sister of graduated All-American Alexa Aragon, took second place in the women’s Meyo Mile race with a personal best time of 4:38.73, only to go on and break her own record with a 4:37.68 showing at the ACC Indoor Championships that was good for second place. Aragon earned second team All-ACC honors for her sixth place finish in the 3,000m race (9:22.34), and repeated as a first team All-American in the distance medley relay, anchoring her team to an eighth-place finish. A native of Billings, Montana, Aragon holds a 3.374 GPA and is a Science-Business major.

Bamgbose has had a phenomenal season thus far with the Irish, helping to break and set the school record twice in the 400m. Her 52.10 showing at the ACC Indoor Championships set an ACC Championship record, which she followed up with a second team All-ACC showing in the 200m and 4x400m relay. Bamgbose earned first team All-American honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 400m and as a member of the distance medley relay team. A native of Evanston, Illinois, she boasts a 3.217 GPA and is working towards a degree in Information Technology Management.

Gourdin, a senior from Greer, South Carolina, has been a staple on the women’s jumps squad the past three seasons. In 2015, she set a school record in the triple jump competition at the ACC Indoor Championships with her mark of 12.68m, earning second team All-ACC honors in the process. Gourdin is on track to graduate in May with a degree in American Studies, and has maintained a 3.167 GPA in her time under the Golden Dome.

Morris, a senior Sociology major from London, Ohio, set the school shot put record at 16.03m at the Blue & Gold Invitational meet, and followed that record-setting performance with a third place finish (15.35m) at the ACC Indoor Championships that earned her first team All-ACC honors. She holds a 3.636 GPA.

Seidel has had her best season with the Irish in 2014-15, twice breaking the school record in the 5,000m race – first at the Iowa State Classic, and then again at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She won both the 3,000m (9:10.63) and 5,000m (15:55.84) at the ACC Indoor Championships, earning first team All-ACC honors and was named Most Valuable Track Performer. She finished sixth in the 5,000m (15:48.31) at the NCAA Indoor Championships, earning her first All-American honor. Seidel hails from Hartland, Wisconsin, and carries a 3.445 GPA. She is currently pursuing a degree in Anthropology.

Harris and Rhodes, both enrolled in the First Year of Studies program at the University, have excelled in different areas of competition in 2014-15. Rhodes – who holds a 3.294 GPA – garnered second team All-ACC honors after finishing sixth in the women’s pentathlon event at the ACC Indoor Championship, with a final tally of 3,675 points. She has a cumulative 3.294 GPA. Harris broke three school records – the 1,000m, 600m, and twice broke the 800m mark – in her first four collegiate meets. She was named a first team All-American as part of the eighth-place distance medley relay team at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and holds a 4.0 GPA.

To be eligible for consideration for the All-ACC Academic team, a student-athlete, regardless of classification, must have earned a 3.0 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.0 cumulative average during their academic career.

Men’s Fencing ACC All-Academic Team
* Ariel De Smet, Sr., Management Entrepreneurship
Garrett McGrath, Jr., Computer Science
John Hallsten, Jr., Science Preprofessional
Jonah Shainberg, Fr., Undeclared
Jonathan Fitzgerald, Fr., Undeclared
Nicholas Hanahan, Fr., Undeclared
Virgile Collineau, So., Economics

Women’s Fencing ACC All-Academic Team
Ashley Severson, Sr., Political Science
Claudia Kulmacz, Fr., Undeclared
Francesca Russo, Fr., Undeclared
* Lee Kiefer, Jr., Science Preprofessional
Nicole Ameli, Sr., Science Preprofessional

Men’s Swimming & Diving ACC All-Academic Team
Andrew Jensen, Jr., Science Pre-Professional
@ Cameron Miller, Sr., Science-Business

Women’s Swimming & Diving ACC All-Academic Team
Emma Gaboury, Jr., Science Preprofessional
Sherri McIntee, Fr., Undeclared
@ Emma Reaney, Sr., Design

Men’s Indoor Track & Field ACC All-Academic Team
Michael Clevenger, Jr., Accountancy
Christopher Giesting, Sr., Management Entrepreneurs
Brent Swanberg, Jr., Finance

Women’s Indoor Track & Field ACC All-Academic Team
Danielle Aragon, Jr., Science-Business
Margaret Bamgbose, Jr., Information Technology Management
Mary-Esther Gourdin, Sr., American Studies
Jessica Harris, Fr., Undeclared
Emily Morris, Sr., Sociology
Rachel Rhodes, Fr., Undeclared
Molly Seidel, Jr., Anthropology

* – indicates Scholar-Athlete of the Year selection
@ – indicates two-time ACC All-Academic honoree