One of college fencing's premier sabremen who is slated to return to Notre Dame program for 2003 season ... could be huge boost to team's NCAA title hopes, as Irish look to replace graduated sabre All-Americans Andre Crompton and Andrzej Bednarski ... was dominating in his first three seasons ('99-'01), compiling a 134-8 record while winning the 2000 NCAA title after finishing as '99 runner-up (he did not fence in the '01 NCAAs) ... known for excellent technique and footwork ... a very sharp and quick fencer - unusual traits among sabremen ... a product of Hungary's stellar fencing tradition ... solid all-around athlete with strong hand-eye coordination ... has a reserved personality and quiet efficiency ... became Notre Dame's 11th men's fencing national champion (second since '90), fourth in sabre ... fifth Irish men's fencer to finish first or second in multiple NCAAs, joining sabre Mike Sullivan ('77 and '78 champion, '79 runner-up), foilists Pat Gerard ('77 champion, '78 runner-up) and Andy Bonk ('78 champion, '80 runner-up), and epeeist Jubba Beshin ('90 champion, '91 runner-up) in that distinction.
IN THE ND RECORD BOOK: Heads into 2003 ranked third on the Irish list for career winning pct. among all weapons (.944, 134-8), behind fellow sabres Leszek Nowosielski (.980, 97-2; '88-'91) and Sullivan (.979, 183-4; '76-'79) ... also ranked 23rd in career wins (8th among sabres) ... needs 36 wins to become seventh ND fencer ever to reach 170 (a 50-win season would land him in the No. 4 spot) ... his 1999 regular-season record (56-2, .966) remains the sixth-most wins and eighth-best winning pct. by any ND fencer ... his .870 career winning pct. in the NCAAs (40-6) ranks third in Irish history, behind Bonk (.922, 59-5) and Sullivan (.913, 95-9).
AS A JUNIOR (2001): Turned in another strong regular season (37-3) ... went 8-2 at NYU Duals, including two wins in showdown with St. John's ... added undefeated dual-meet records at Northwestern (7-1) and at Notre Dame (12-0), highlighted by a 5-2 win in an NCAA title-bout rematch vs. Wayne State's Jakub Krochmalski ... closed regular season with 10-1 record at Duke Invitational (3-0 vs. Stanford) ... did not compete in any 2001 postseason events.
AS A SOPHOMORE (2000): Claimed NCAA title with 20-3 round-robin record, followed by semifinal win over Ivan Lee (St. John's) and a win over WSU's Krochmalski in the finals (both 15-12) ... posted 41-3 regular-season record, followed by semi-finalist finish at Midwest Fencing Conference Championships before losing fence-off to Krochmalski at Midwest Regional.
AS A FRESHMAN (1999): Finished second at NCAAs, highest ever for a Notre Dame freshman sabre ... beat Columbia's Patrick Durkan in semifinals (15-5), losing title bout to SJU's Keeth Smart (15-4) ... followed up his dominating regular season (56-2) by winning the MFC and the Midwest Regional titles ... his 56 wins marked the fourth-highest season total ever by a Notre Dame sabreman.
PREP & PERSONAL: Reached five Junior World Cup finals from '96-'98 ... third at '97 Cadet Worlds (Tenerife, Canary Islands) ... member of first-place team at '98 Junior European Championship (Bratislava, Slovakia) and second-place team at '98 Junior Worlds (Valencia, Venezuela) ... sister Patricia was an All-American foilist at Ohio State ('94-'98) ... born Feb. 1, 1980, in Budapest, Hungary.
Szelle's Career Record