March 20, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Irish completed day two of fencing at the 2009 NCAA Championship inside the Multi-Sports Facility on the campus of Penn State. Through all the rounds of men’s fencing, Notre Dame stands in third place with 84 points. Penn State currently leads with 98 points, while Ohio State is in second with 93 points. The margin between the three teams remained the same, as Penn State, Ohio State and Notre Dame each added 37 points to their totals on day two.
Freshman Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) advanced to the men’s foil semifinals with an impressive 19 wins in pool play. He earned the top seed entering the final four. In the semifinal, he squared off against Columbia’s Kurt Getz. Getz took an early 5-4 lead into the first break before extending his lead to 7-5. But then Meinhardt was able to tie the bout at 7-7. The duo then traded touches until Meinhardt took his first lead at 9-8. He went on to record six of the next seven touches to book a place in the gold medal bout by virtue of a 15-9 win.
In the gold medal bout, Meinhardt met Penn State’s Nicholas Chinman. Meinhardt, who became the first Notre Dame athlete to appear in an NCAA men’s foil final since Ozren Debic achived runner-up status in 2000, was defeated by one touch, 15-14, to take home the silver medal and claim second team All-American status. Meinhardt took an 11-7 advantage into the first break, but Chinman closed the gap and the bout was eventually tied at 12-12. The finalists then traded touches, creating tied scores at 13-13 and 14-14 before Chinman claimed the narrow 15-14 win.
Meinhardt’s foil teammate Enzo Castellani (Keller, Texas) finished in eighth to earn second team All-American honors. He notched a total of 13 wins over the two days.
In epee, Karol Kostka (Krakow, Poland) and Greg Schoolcraft (San Jose, Calif.) rebounded to post 12 wins in the three rounds of day two after combining to post ten wins in the first four rounds. Kostka, making his fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championship, finished in 10th-place to earn third team All-American honors. He posted 13 wins over the two days. Schoolcraft chipped in with nine wins to finish 18th overall.
In sabre, the sophomore duo of Avery Zuck (Beaverton, Ore. and Barron Nydam (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.) earned All-America status. Zuck, who finished with 17 wins, was just outside the top-four as he finished in fifth, earning second team All-American honors. Zuck was tied with fourth-place finisher Daryl Homer of St. John’s, but lost out in the tiebreaker, having received three more touches than Homer. Nydam finished in 10th with 13 wins, good for third team All-American honors.
The women will try and close the gap with rivals Penn State and Ohio State tomorrow, March 21 when rounds 1-4 get underway at 10:00 a.m. Updates will be made periodically on und.com and can be accessed at http://www.und.com/sports/c-fenc/spec-rel/031909aab.html. Complete standings and result tables are posted at www.prisedefer.com.