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Fencing: ND takes Midwest Regional

Kevin Baldwin | Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Notre Dame dominated the Midwest Regional over the weekend to bring its record to 68-0 for the combined men’s and women’s teams. The performance allowed the top-ranked Irish to send the maximum-allotted 12 fencers to the national tournament.

“We fenced pretty well during regionals, we have some gold medals and others but the most important thing is that we qualified 12 fencers,” Irish coach Janusz Bednarski said. “It will be very interesting. It’s an unusually hard field so we can expect a lot of excitement and drama.”

In the championship round, the men’s and women’s teams may each qualify up to six fencers and no more than two per event. This will be the third consecutive season in which the Irish have qualified 12 fencers for the championship round. Other teams sending 12 fencers on to the next round include Penn State, Princeton, Harvard and St. John’s.

Ohio State, which defeated the Irish by a narrow margin at nationals in 2008, will also be strongly represented next week.

Notre Dame has shown both consistency and steady improvement throughout the year, defeating top competitors within the region such as Northwestern and Ohio State on numerous occasions.

“I am happy that our team is progressing and that there has been very good cooperation between upperclassmen and the younger fencers throughout the season,” Bednarski said.

However, the road to the championship is never easy and with the success they have had this season the Irish will rely on their training not only this week but on an entire season’s worth of experience in order to make a final, decisive push to the finish.

“The competition is stronger, but we are stronger,” Bednarski said. “Also we’ve had a good season, we’re No. 1 in the country.”