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Fencing: Irish fencers impress at USFA Cup competition

Kevin Baldwin | Wednesday, January 20, 2010

As inter-collegiate play draws closer, the Irish will likely gain some ground in the preseason rankings after an outstanding performance in the USFA North American Cup this weekend.

“It is the USFA national team try outs,” Irish coach Janusz Bednarski said, “athletes from all over the continent competing for a place on the national team and the possibility to represent their country in the World Cup, University Games, or world championships.”

The highly touted sophomore Courtney Hurley and freshman Lian Osier continued their success at the international level of competition, bringing home gold medals in the women’s Under-20 epee and saber events, respectively. Hurley also finished second in the Division I women’s epee.

Other top-10 finishers for the women’s team include junior Sarah Borrmann who came in third in the Division I foil, as well as up and coming underclassmen freshman Abigail Nichols at seventh in Under-20 Saber, and sophomore Radmilla Sarkisova at ninth in the Under-20 foil.

Likewise, the men’s team fared exceptionally well against the world’s best, junior Zach Schirtz taking third place in the Division I foil. Juniors Barron Nydam and Avery Zuck along with freshman Jason Choy dominated the Division I saber, all three finishing in the top 10.

Sophomore Enzo Castellani also secured a top eight spot in the Under-20 foil.

“The beginning of our [intercollegiate] fencing season starts next week, we will be going to New York for an event against the top national teams,” Bednarski said.

The Irish hope to make a statement this coming weekend in the NYU Duals and the St. Johns Challenge against some of the top programs in the country including defending national champions Penn State.

The NYU Duals include several of the top-ranked teams in the nation, and should provide a tough test for Notre Dame.