Mar. 23, 1997

Irish Finish Second; Krol Wins Individual Title

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Notre Damefencing team finished second at the NCAA combined nationalchampionships as Penn State won its third straight NCAAchampionship. The Irish battled back from 130 points down tofinish 60 points behind the first place Nittany Lions. Penn Statehad 1,530 points, while Notre Dame finished with 1,470 points.St. John’s and Stanford tied for third with 1,120 points. The lastday of competiton saw the finals in women’s epee and foil.

The championships were a four-day team event that concluded today.Twenty-four fencers in each weapon, all of whom competed in around-robin competition in their weapon. Each team was awarded 10points for every bout their fencers won. At the end of eachround-robin, the top four finishers were placed in asingle-elimination tournament. This tournament decided the NCAAchampion of each weapon; there were no team points awarded inthese matches.

The women’s 1997 epee championship was won by Notre Dame freshmanMagda Krol. In the final round, Krol defeated 1996 champion NicoleDygert of St. John’s 15-14. Krol finished the championships with a20-5 record. Krol was also voted Outstanding Women’s Epeeist; theaward is voted on by all of the women epeeists at the event.Women’s epee team captain, Anne Hoos, placed 15th overall andposted an 11-12 record.

The women’s foilists of Notre Dame totaled 35 victories. SaraWalsh gained first team All-American honors and placed second forthe second consecutive year. Walsh finished the competition with a20-5 record. Myriah Brown posted a 16-7 record at thechampionships. Brown placed fifth and earned second teamAll-American honors for the second straight year. Yelena Kalkinaof Ohio State won the women’s 1997 foil championship.

“We were down and they never gave up,” said NotreDame head coach Yves Auriol. “We would’ve liked to win thechampionships, but you can’t make mistakes when you’re up againstPenn State.

“I am very proud of this team, they gave their all. It is justtough to come close and not reach our goal.”

This is the second year in a row that Notre Dame has placed secondat the NCAA combined fencing championships. At last year’schampionships, the Irish had six All-Americans – sabreman BillLester and Luke LaValle, men’s foilist Jeremy Siek, Krol inwomen’s epee and Walsh and Brown in women’s foil.