March 22, 2001
(Note: men’s epee rounds to be completed by 8:00 p.m. EST).
KENOSHA, Wis. – Following four rounds of men’s foil and sabre competition at the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Combined Fencing Championships, Notre Dame has placed three fencers in the top 10 of their respective fields-with the final three sabre and foil rounds to be completed on Friday at the University of Wisconsin Parkside’s Petretti Fieldhouse. The opening rounds of men’s epee will be held Thursday afternoon and completed on Friday, with the women set to fence on Saturday and Sunday.
Irish senior Andrzej Bednarski (Granger, Ind.) currently stands third in the sabre field (winning 11 of 14 bouts), with junior teammate Andre Crompton (Irvington, N.J.) close behind in fourth place (10-4). The foil competition has placed 2000 NCAA runner-up Ozren Debic (Zagreb, Croatia) in sixth place (10-4), with fellow Irish sophomore Forest Walton (Londonberry, N.H.) currently 17th in the 24-fencer field (6-8)-giving the Irish 37 points out of a possible 54.
Bednarski opened the day with a 5-1 loss to Crompton but won 11 of his next 13 bouts, highlighted by a 5-3 win over 2000 All-American Robert Owens of Stanford. One of Bednarski’s other losses came to Penn State’s impressive newcomer Mohaymen Rahimi, 5-4.
Three of Crompton’s four losses also came by 5-4 counts, versus Owens, Rahimi and Paul Friedman of Brown. The Irish sabremen will have a difficult challenge awaiting them on Friday, when they fence the powerful teams of St. John’s, Columbia and Wayne State.
The foilists dealt with a tough field on Thursday while contesting some tight bouts. The first round saw Debic lose to defending NCAA champion Felix Reichling of Stanford (5-1) before downing the teammate and brother of Reichling, Florian, by a score of 5-3. Debic later defeated two fencers who earned All-America honors in 2000, besting Yale Cohen of Pennsylvania (5-2) and Jed Dupree of Columbia (5-1).
Walton turned in a strong 5-4 win over Columbia’s Kevin Erikson before battling back from a 3-0 deficit to defeating Paul Taylor of Boston College, 5-4. He then lost several close bouts, including 5-4 losses to Stanford’s Florian Reichling (who raced to a 4-0 lead) and Cohen of Pennsylvania.
Updated information from Thursday’s men’s epee competition will be posted later tonight. Updates for all Notre Dame varsity sports also can be obtained by calling the Irish Sports Hotline, at (219) 631-3000.