Mar. 8, 1997
Strong Showing for Irish Fencers at Midwestern Regional Championships
DETROIT - The Notre Dame fencing team sent 13 team members
to Wayne State for the Midwestern Regional Championships. The
regional championships provide Notre Dame the opportunity to better
their chances of sending the maximum 10 fencers to the national
championships. The Irish were able to advance all of their
competitors to each weapon's final round of 12.
In the women's foil qualifier Notre Dame captain Rose Saari placed
eighth and Nicole Paulina finished sixth. Myriah Brown, who placed
second at last year's competition, finished fourth. Last year's top
finisher, Sara Walsh garnered a tie for first place. Walsh had to
compete in a fence off with Patricia Szelle of Ohio State. In a
controversial finish, Walsh was issued a red card and Szelle was
consequently awarded victory and title of champion by a 5-4 score.
In women's epee Monika Scherman of Ohio State took first place,
while Notre Dame freshman Magda Krol placed second. Coming in third
for the second consecutive year was epee captain Anne Hoos. Nicole
Mustilli placed seventh and Colleen Smerek came in 10th for the Irish.
Smerek had placed fifth in the 1995 competition.
The men's foil team was led by captain Jeremy Siek and Stephanie
Auriol. They placed first and second respectively. Siek regains the
title of Midwestern Men's Foil Champion, he won the event in 1994 and
1995, while placing second in 1996. By comin in second, Auriol
improved on last year's eighth place finish. Freshman Charles Hayes
earned the fifth spot in the event.
Three Notre Dame sabremen gained first place in the men's sabre
qualifier. Captain Bill Lester, 1996 champion Luke LaValle and senior
Jeffrey Wartgow competed in a three way fence off for the top spot.
In the fence off, LaValle reclaimed the championship. Bill Lester,
who won the event in 1994, placed second. Lester had placed second in
1995 and third in 1997. Wartgow, in his first regional qualifier,
took the third place.
In men's epee, Carl Jackson and Wayne State's Henrikas
Valtkevicius tied for first place. Both epeeists participated in a
fence off. Valtkevicius won the fence off 5-2. Jackson had come in
second for the Irish in 1995. Brian Stone came in third and Brice
Dille placed 12th for Notre Dame. Stone had previously placed sixth
and 13th at the Midwest regionals. Dille came in fourth in last
Notre Dame fencers Walsh, Brown, Krol, Hoos, Siek, Auriol, Lester,
LaValle, Jackson and Stone are likely to head to the national
championship, but they await Thursday's final decision from the NCAA