Talented fencer and tremendous natural leader for Notre Dame fencing program who again should be among the favorites to claim the NCAA women's epee title, after finishing first at 2002 NCAAs and returning to the final in `04 (plus 5th in '03) ... updated rankings (as of Jan. 20) that will determine the U.S. teams for the 2005 World Championship team (three fencers per weapon) featured Walton 1st and her Notre Dame teammate Amy Orlando 3rd in the women's epee qualification points (Lindsay Campbell was 2nd, Maya Lawrence 4th) ... established her status as one of world's top young epeeists after five-week stretch in '02 that included winning NCAA title, 3rd at World Junior Championship in Turkey and winning U.S. Open Nationals (Salt Lake City) ... second U.S. fencer ever to medal in any women's epee world championship ... did not fence with Irish in spring of '01 before making huge impact from `02-'04 (she has returned for fifth year of eligibility in `05) ... has rare high-level combination of natural athleticism, mental toughness and knowledge of technique ... heads into 2005 season with .863 career winning percentage in regular-season bouts (132-21), trailing only Magda Krol (.888, 167-21; '97-'99) in ND women's epee history (14th among all women's weapons) ... savvy competitor who knows how to use the blade for touches in clutch situations ... listed 5th in U.S. women's epee "rolling" rankings (using different criteria than the above team rankings; as of Jan. 20, 2005), behind Kamara James, Kelly Hurley, Stephanie Eim and Lawrence ... well-suited for role as team captain, due to outgoing and engaging personality to go along with tremendous devotion to Notre Dame program ... combines strength and a physical style with quickness ... has excellent decision-making and wide selection of touches ... one of just six ND women's fencers (as are current senior foilists Alicja Kryczalo and Andrea Ament) ever to finish 1st-5th at three-plus NCAAs ... on verge of joining elite group of 21 ND student-athletes who have been four-year All-Americans - including foilists Molly Sullivan and Sara Walsh, Magda Krol (`97-'99 epee, `00 foil), foilist Myriah Brown (`96-'99), eight men's fencers, three women's soccer players, four distance runners, a men's basketball player and a baseball pitcher ... also one of 11 ND fencers (six women) ever to reach multiple NCAA title bouts (Kryczalo and sabre Mike Sullivan are the program's only three-time finalists) ... posted Dean's List grade-point average (3.53) during 2003 spring semester and again in spring of `04 (3.67) ... took 3rd at `04 North American Cup (Richmond, Va.) with top wins over Anna Vinnikov and Eleanor Leighton before losing to Anna Garina in rematch of `04 NCAA title bout ... opened '05 with runner-up finish at the N.A.C. in Overland Park, Kan. (losing 15-10 final to Tess Finkel) ... did not fence in the Penn State Open (fall `04).
A FENCING FAMILY: Followed in footsteps of her brother Forest (9th at `01 NCAAs) as Notre Dame's only brother and sister ever to earn All-America honors (in any sports, see p. 2) ... fenced alongside her brother in `03 and `04 seasons (he was studying overseas in `02) ... the Waltons joined Heidi and Jeff Piper and Vittoria and Andy Quaroni as only ND brother-sister combinations ever to compete in fencing NCAAs ... family connection extends to their mother Yvonne, who was ranked No. 1 among U.S.-aged 50-59 women's foilists after winning the 2002 North American Cup (Reno) and placing 3rd at World Veterans Championships (Tampa) - making Yvonne and Kerry the first parent-child duo ever to medal concurrently at the World Championships ... Kerry and Yvonne's accomplishments were featured in both USA Today and Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" ... her father Michael also was a fencer before knee injury (he has served as the family's armorer) ... the Walton parents dabbled in fencing while attending Lowell State College (now UMass-Lowell) before living in Alaska and returning to New England (the family has lived in Londonderry, N.H., since the early 1980s).
AS A SENIOR: Returned to NCAA title bout to cap another stellar season in which she posted 39-11 regular-season record ... her 8-1 start at Northwestern Duals included sweep of the hosts (5-2 vs. Sharon Sullivan) ... went 2-1 at Penn State, including 5-1 win over Case Szarwark in final bout for 14-13 win ... went 12-2 at NYU Duals ... her 17-7 record at ND Duals included 5-0 win over Sullivan ... did not compete at Midwest Fencing Conference meet due to World Cup conflict ... placed 6th at Midwest Regional (held at Northwestern), after entering as 4th seed (she posted 5-2 wins over Orlando and Sullivan but lost three key 5-4 bouts) ... opened NCAAs at Brandeis with 12-2 record, beating Sullivan (5-1) and Ohio State's Alexandra Shklar (5-3), plus OT wins over the PSU duo of Katarzyna Trzopek (2-1, after tying score with 0:15 left in regulation) and Szarwark (5-4) ... added key day-2 wins over Duke's Anne Kercsmar (5-1) and Brown's Ruth Schneider, earning 2nd seed with 17-6 record ... edged Cornell's Meghan Phair in 9-8 semifinal (OT), after beating her 5-4 in round-robin ... Phair's long lunge produced an early 3-1 lead but Walton battled back and scored on a wrist flick (8-8) before lunging for the final touch to Phair's clear mask ... nearly reclaimed NCAA title she won in '02 but failed to best the 6-foot-1 Garina of Wayne State, 10-15 (trailed 2-6, 6-11, 9-14) ... also had lost to Garina in the final bout at the Penn State Open in the fall of `04 (14-15), after edging Trzopek in 15-14 semifinal ... placed 5th at Palm Springs North American Cup in fall of `03.
AS A JUNIOR: Turned in 5th-best regular-season record ever by ND women's epeeist (.896, 43-5) before placing 2nd in Midwest Fencing Conference and at Midwest Regional, followed by another All-America performance at the NCAAs ... narrowly missed making NCAA semifinals for another run at the title, finishing 5th (15-8) ... joined seniors Anna Carnick and Meagan Call as part of women's epee unit that finished '03 with 466 combined career wins ... opened 14-0 at OSU Duals (pushing career record to 64-5) before going 13-3 at ND Duals ... her 10-2 record helped epee squad go 39-6 at Duke Duals ... closed regular season 3-0 at MSU Duals ...runner-up to Wayne State's Vinnikov in MFC title bout (10-15) ... went 9-2 in round-robin bouts at OSU in Midwest Regional, tying Call and Vinnikov to force fenceoff (finished 2nd, after losing 5-1 to Call and besting Vinnikov, 5-2) ... her Regional losses came vs. Call and Vinnikov ('02 Regional champ) ... entered NCAA field that included 12 returners (five All-Americans) from '02 NCAAs ... split 14 bouts on first day at NCAAs, with key sweep of OSU's Shklar and Sherice Gearhart (both 5-3), plus losses to PSU's Burke (1-5) and Trzopek (2-5), Arlene Stevens of St. John's (3-5) and Vinnikov (3-5) ... closed 8-1 to help edge Penn State for the team title (182-179), with her second-day record including wins over Yale's Erica Korb (4-3, OT) and Columbia's Monica Conley (5-1) ... opened junior season with 3rd-place finish at PSU Open (fall '02).
AS A SOPHOMORE: Posted 4th-best regular-season record in ND women's epee history (.909, 50-5) before winning MFC title and placing 3rd at Midwest Regional (Cleveland) ... followed with whirlwind stretch that saw her win NCAA title, claim bronze at World Juniors and win U.S. National title ... her 11-0 record at Northwestern Invitational included wins over Temple's Sara Forsythe and Julia Korony (both 5-2) ... went 9-3 at NYU Duals, 15-1 at Air Force Duals (5-3 win over Northwestern's Jen Greenebaum) ... her 10-1 mark at OSU Duals included wins over Shklar (5-2) and Northwestern's Kate Rudkin (5-4) and Greenebaum (5-2) ... closed 5-0 at WSU Duals ... beat Carnick in MFC title bout (15-13) ... 2nd seed at Regional, finishing 3rd behind Shklar and Rudkin ... placed 3rd in NCAA round-robin (18-5), with wins over '01 NCAA runner-up Stevens of SJU (4-3, with :04 left in OT and Stevens owning priority), Shklar (5-4) and Princeton's Lawrence (5-2) ... beat SJU's Emese Takacs in semifinals and PSU's Eim in NCAA title bout (both 15-12) ... posted 14-2 record to win North American Cup in Dallas (fall of '01), also taking 7th at senior North American Cups in Palm Springs and South Bend.
PREP & PERSONAL: Member of U.S. Fencing World Cup team ... turned in perfect 1999 season in u-17 national competition (three gold medals) ... trained with Seacoast Fencing Club, where her coaches included Chris Pullo and Bob Tipton ... combined with her brother Forest and cousins Scott and Kevin Eriksen (who went on to become All-Americans at Pennsylvania and Columbia, respectively) as "Four Amigos" fencing combination that developed their skills at Seacoast ... competed in foil and epee as a youth ... honed hand-eye coordination through participation in soccer and softball ... four-year starter at third base on Londonderry High School softball team ... two-time softball MVP ... earned all state and captained softball team to regional title ... daughter of Michael and Yvonne Walton ... full name is Kerry Erika Walton ... born Jan. 25, 1982, in Eliot, Mass. ... an anthropology and computer applications major, in the College of Arts and Letters.
Walton's Career Record