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    Mar. 20, 1997

    Notre Dame in Fourth Place After First Day of Championships

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- After the first day of the NCAA combined fencing championships, Notre Dame is in fourth place with 280 points.

    The first five rounds of men's epee and men's foil were contested today.

    The Irish are 120 points behind the first-place, two-time NCAA defending champions Penn State. Stanford is in second place with 360 points. Columbia/Barnard is in third place with 350 points.

    The championships is a four-day team event that will conclude on Sunday, March 23. There are 24 fencers in each weapon, all of whom compete in a round-robin competition in their weapons.

    Each team is awarded 10 points for every bout its fencers win. At the end of each round-robin, the top four finishers are placed in a single-elimination tournament. This tournament decides the NCAA champion of each weapon; there are no team points awarded in these matches.

    Notre Dame epeeists Brian Stone and Carl Jackson earned 110 points for the Irish. Stone is currently in 16th place with a 6-8 record, while Jackson is in 21st place with a 5-9 record. Stone defeated 1995 NCAA epee champion and 1996 All-American Michael Gattnar of Harvard 5-2. Leading the epee after five rounds is Alden Clarke of Stanford with a 14-0 record.

    In men's foil, captain Jeremy Siek is currently in sixth place with 11 wins and three losses. Siek avenged one of his two regular-season losses by defeating Stanford's Alex Wood 5-4.

    Sophomore foilist Stephane Auriol had a 6-8 record, and currently stands in 17th place. Auriol beat Stanford's 1996 All-American Tim Chang 5-4. Penn State's Gang Lu is currently in first place with a 13-1 record.

    "We knew today would be a tough day, but we could have done better," said Notre Dame head coach Yves Auriol. "Today didn't turn out the way we would have liked, but we have three more days of competition."

    Tomorrow, the second day of competition, the men's epee and foil will conclude, and the men's sabre will begin their first five rounds. On Saturday, the men's sabre will finish and the women's epee and foil will begin. The NCAA Championships will conclude on Sunday with the finals in women's epee and foil.

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