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Fencing: ND kicks off strong start at championships

Observer Staff Report | Friday, March 25, 2011

Notre Dame showed no signs of being rattled by the high expectations placed on them prior to the NCAA championships, as the Irish asserted themselves as the team to beat on day one of the competition at Ohio State.

Notre Dame registered 61 points on the first day of action, which gave them an eight point lead over second place Penn State and a 21 point lead of the next closest competition, St. John’s. Ohio State and Harvard both have 39 points to round out the top five.

The Irish had four outstanding individual performances from seniors Avery Zuck, Barron Nydam, junior Reggie Bentley and freshman Ariel DeSmet. Each fencer registered at least 10 wins and DeSmet led the team with 12 victories.  

DeSmet and Bentley led the way in the foil, while Zuck and Nydam tallied their points in the saber competition.

The Irish also received contributions from sophomore James Kaull and senior Brent Kelly, who is participating in his first NCAA championships, in the epee competition. Kaull finished the day with an impressive 9-5 record and Kelly tallied a record of 8-6.

The men’s portion of the championships will finish on Friday. The top four finishers in each competition will participate in semifinal 15-touch bouts to determine the individual champions.