2007 NCAA Fencing Championships, day-2 of men's competition (Madison, NJ). Photos by Chris Pedota.
Academic All-America Candidate (3.67)
Men's Epee Team Captain
Veteran leader of epee squad who is coming off an All-America season in 2007 ... local product who has become strong leader and dependable teammate within the Notre Dame program ... entering his third season as captain of the Irish men's epee team ... a lefthanded fighter who is a tremendous student of fencing, in addition to being an excellent academic performer at Notre Dame ... top candidate for Academic All-America honors, after entering his senior year with a 3.67 cumulative grade-point average as an economics major ... a diligent worker who has made key improvements in his footwork ... utilizes an unorthodox timing in his attacks, with ability to maintain needed distance while keeping opponents off-balance and causing them to miss on parry attempts ... his attack features good arm extension and a very precise point on his touches, with good accuracy hitting the wrist ... also has strong parrying actions ... combines with junior Karol Kostka to give the Irish men's epee squad a pair of All-America fencers ... brings fiery intensity to his bouting, in contrast to calm demeanor off the strip ... combines six-foot frame with good reaction skills and an improving, highly-modern style ... an organized tactician who is able to focus on each point without a dropoff in his energy or effectiveness ... son of a longtime Notre Dame professor, with deep appreciation for the spirit of Notre Dame and the fencing program's heritage ... entered his junior year listed 48th in the USFA men's epee rankings, as of Dec. 1, 2006 ... compiled 127-34 record (.789) in regular-season bouts during first three seasons with the Irish, leaving him only six wins shy of the Notre Dame career top-10 for men's epee wins ... needs 35 victories in his final season to reach fourth place on that epee wins list ... placed 13th at the annual Penn State Open, in the fall of 2007 ...one of 39 Notre Dame student-athletes (including six other fencers) who are invited participants in the Academic Honors Program (faculty mentoring).
AS A JUNIOR: Won nearly 75 percent of his bouts in the 2007 regular season (47-17) before his All-America postseason run that included posting 5th-place finish in the Midwest Fencing Conference, taking 4th-place at the NCAA Midwest Regional and then closing with an 8th-place showing at the NCAAs ... received the Steve Donlon Award (for men's epee team leadership) for the second time in his career while also being the men's fencing recipient of the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award ... his 18-5 record at the Notre Dame Duals included outlasting Ohio State's Christian Rivera in tense 5-4 bout (gave ND men 13-12 lead but OSU won, 14-13) ... also topped Stanford's Clayton Kenney (an NCAA Tournament veteran) at the ND Duals ... faced several top fencers at the NYU Duals (11-6), with his top win coming over Yale's Michael Pearce (5-4), OSU's Rivera and Jason Pryor (both 5-4) and the Columbia duo of Brent Kelly (5-1) and Lorenzo Castertano (5-4) ...went 2-1 in limited duty at the Midwest Duals (held at ND) before closing with an 8-2 win at the Duke Duals (highlighted by a 5-4 win over Johns Hopkins standout Dan Zielinski) and then 8-3 at the Northwestern Duals (including a 5-1 victory over Penn State's Arthur Urman) ... lost MFC quarterfinal bout to Pryor (9-15) and then entered the Midwest Regional (also at ND) as #3 seed ... rose up to top seed in the Regional (following strong pool bouts) and went on to edge Pryor in the round-of-8 (15-13) before losing semifinal to Wayne State's Marek Petraszek (11-5) and dropping tight 3rd-place bout versus his ND teammate Kostka (14-15) ... his 13-10 record at the NCAAs (held in Madison, N.J.) included being the only Notre Dame men's fencer to beat an opponent from each of the other five top contending teams ... combined with Kostka to compile the fifth-most wins of any men's epee duo at the NCAAs (ND managed just the 8th-most men's epee wins at the '06 NCAAs) ... helped the Notre Dame men post the maximum six All-Americans for only the third time under the current format (since 1995) ... the Irish men totaled 85 wins at the NCAAs (most by an ND men's team since 2003) ... split his 14 bouts on day-1 at the NCAAs, with his top win coming versus OSU's Mykhaylo Mazur (5-1) ... secured second team All-America honors (8th place) after going 6-3 on the second day, with noteworthy wins over Harvard's Teddy Sherrill (4-2) PSU's Steffen Launer (5-4), Stanley Vaksman of St. John's (5-2), Stanford's Kenney (5-0) and Columbia's Dwight Smith (5-2), an eventual semifinalist ... placed 13th at the Penn State Open in the fall of 2006, with top wins over PSU's Dennis Kraft (5-3) and James Moody (5-2) before losing to his Notre Dame teammate Aaron Adjemian in the direct-elimination phase (13-15).
AS A SOPHOMORE: Turned in strong 2005-06 regular season (44-9) before narrowly missing a spot in the NCAAs, with his postseason including a MFC runner-up finish and a 4th-place finish at the Midwest Regional ... received the Notre Dame men's epee MVP award and Steve Donlon Men's Epee Leadership Award ... his 13-2 record at the Northwestern Duals included top wins over UNC's Benton Heimsath (5-3) and Daniel Zielinski of Johns Hopkins (5-3) ... added some impressive wins at the NYU Duals (8-4), topping the Ohio State duo of Denis Tolkachev (5-4, OT) and Pryor (5-1) while also beating Benjamin Bratton (5-2) and Adam Rodney (5-2) of St. John's (Tolkachev and Bratton had been NCAA semifinalists earlier in their careers) ... his 3-0 record versus St. John's helped the epee team go 6-3 as the Notre Dame men topped SJU 17-10 ... his 5-3 win over Columbia's Max Czapanskiy clinched another win for the Irish men at NYU (14-9) ... his 9-0 mark at the Notre Dame Duals included a 5-3 win over Wayne State All-American Petraszek ... also went 5-0 at the OSU Duals and 9-3 at the UC San Diego Duals (with a 5-2 win over Air Force All-American Tim French) ... his MFC runner-up finish included a 15-13 semifinal with OSU's Rivera and the title-bout loss to WSU's Petraszek (9-15), the '05 NCAA runner-up ... his Regional results (in Cleveland) included three final bouts versus his teammates: a 15-9 quarterfinal versus Patrick Gettings, a semifinal loss to Adjemian (6-15) and a loss to Kostka in the 3rd-place bout ... placed 12th at the Penn State Open in the fall of 2005, after losing in the round-of-16 to PSU's Moody (9-15) ... his USFA results in the 2005-06 season included placing 47th at the North American Cup in Houston (Jan. '06) and 46th at the Sacramento N.A.C. (April '06) before a 37th-place finish at the 2006 Summer Nationals (in Atlanta).
AS A FRESHMAN: Finished 2005 with a 36-8 regular-season record and was vital part for successful epee squad ... opened with 7-2 record at the NYU Duals ... continued strong start by going 18-5 at the Notre Dame Duals before finishing with an 11-1 record at the Duke Duals, highlighted by 3-1 mark against eventual 2005 NCAA participants - with a 5-3 win vs. UNC's Heimsath, 5-2 victory over Duke's Nathan Bragg and 5-4 bout vs. Air Force's Jason Stockdale ... scored two key wins over OSU in the MFC team championships, defeating Brian Gross (5-1) and Tolkachev (3-1) ... finished seventh at the 2005 Regional but handed eventual champion Wojciech Dudek of Wayne State his only loss (4-3) ... his 2004 fall bouts included placing eighth at the Northwestern Open and Penn State Open (8-5 in pools; upset second-seeded Phillip Steele of Harvard, 15-13), plus ninth at Junior World Cup in Louisville, Ky. ... opened 2005 by placing 33rd in senior/open men's epee bouts at the N.A.C. in Overland Park, Kan. (lost 15-14 bout to OSU's Rivera) ... later placed 17th at the N.A.C. in Chattanooga, Tenn. (April '05) before a 6th-place showing at 2005 Summer Nationals in Sacramento, Calif.
PREP & PERSONAL: Attended nearby St. Joseph's High School while training at Mishawaka's Indiana Fencing Academy ... represented SJHS in high school competitions, winning three Midwest titles ('02-'04) and the 2002 Great Lakes Sectional (2nd in '01, '03) ... won silver medal at 2004 USFA Summer Nationals (U-19), after bronze-medal finishes at 2003 Junior "A" event in Louisville, '02 Summer Nationals (junior team event and open individual) and '02 Junior Olympics (cadet level) ... his top 2001 cadet finishes included fifth and sixth at North American Cups and third at Summer Nationals (2nd at '00 N.A.C.; 3rd in '99) ... won Great Lakes Sectional in 1999 (2000 runner-up) ... his top under-12 results included winning '98 N.A.C. (after 2nd- and 3rd-place finishes in '97 N.A.C. events and runner-up at '97 Summer Nationals) ... member of the National Honor Society ... his parents are Nancy Gulanick and George Howard, a Notre Dame psychology professor ... full name is Gregory Edward Howard ... born May 11, 1985, in South Bend, Ind. ... an economics major, enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters.