March 10, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – As the final day of competition wrapped up at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship Sunday at the Castellan Family Fencing Center, the University of Notre Dame’s men’s team was all smiles. After several highly anticipated bouts, the Irish placed six fencers in the top three of their respective events, with John Hallsten, Jason Choy, and Kevin Hassett placing first through third, respectively, in the sabre event.
After both Hallsten and Choy finished their day with identical 12-1 records, the duo faced each other in a fence-off to secure the sabre championship, with Hallsten narrowly out-touching Choy 5-4. Hassett posted a 10-3 mark with a +29 indicator to complete the third-place result. Fencing for the last time at Notre Dame, senior Will McGough finished with a 6-7 record to place seventh in the event.
Men’s foil proved to be the biggest spectator draw of the day with the past three NCAA Individual Champions – Gerek Meinhardt (ND, ’10), Ariel DeSmet (ND, ‘11), Zain Shaito (OSU, ’12) - participating. Meinhardt and DeSmet pulled away from the field on this day, as the Irish pairing finished with identical records of 12-1 to force a fence-off for the title. Meinhardt narrowly defeated DeSmet 5-3 after losing to him 5-4 in the first bout of pool play to complete the win. Both Irish combatants defeated Shaito with scores of 5-3 and 5-4, respectively. Notre Dame’s Grant Hodges and Nick Kubik both notched 7-6 marks in pool play, but Hodges finished the day seventh with a +12 indicator, whereas Kubik placed ninth with a +8 indicator.
The longest event of the day came in the 20-man epee field. Ohio State’s Marco Canevari finished the day with only two losses and a +45 indicator to claim the outright championship. One of his two losses, however, came at the hands of Notre Dame’s Michael Rossi, helping solidify Rossi’s third-place finish (15-4, +38 indicator). Garret McGrath claimed fifth for the Irish in the category, finishing one win behind Rossi at 14-5 and a +23 indicator. After a sluggish start, the freshman went on a five-bout winning streak, including a 5-3 win over runner-up Daniel Tafoya of Ohio State. James Kaull also went 14-5 but his +22 indicator placed him sixth. Senior Jack Piasio (12-7, +6 indicator) wrapped up the Irish entrants, finishing in eighth place.
Of the five former Midwest Regional champions present at today’s competition, only Meinhardt won in his weapon category. The others - DeSmet, Shaito, Max Stearns (sabre, Ohio State), Kristian Boyadzhiev (epee, Ohio State) - will anxiously await Tuesday to find out if they have qualified for a chance to compete at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Notre Dame is seeking to send the maximum of 12 fencers to this year’s Championships, which will be held March 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas.
Men's Epee Results: 1. Marco Canevari Ohio State 2. Daniel Tafoya Ohio State 3. Michael Rossi Notre Dame 4. Kristian Boyadzhiev Ohio State 5. Garrett McGrath Notre Dame 6. James Kaull Notre Dame 7. Narayan Pathi Ohio State 8. Jack Piasio Notre Dame 9. Paul Duchow Cleveland State 10. Moses Zarkin-Scott Lawrence