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Shorthanded Notre Dame snags six medals

| Monday, December 1, 2014

The Irish competed to high finishes at the Penn State Garrett OpenDuring the weekend before Thanksgiving. Despite missing starters due to international events, the Irish still racked up a combined six medals, with the men and women each earning three in College Station, Pennsylvania.

The men’s team was missing a whopping 10 starters yet still produced six top-10 finishes, highlighted by freshman Virgile Collineau’s second-place finish in the foil. Overall, the men earned three top-10 finishes in the event. Senior Ariel DeSmet and sophomore John Crumpler fenced against each other in the round of 16, with DeSmet winning 15-1. DeSmet won again in the next round, leading to a top-10 finish, while Crumpler finished 10th. Collineau bested four fighters in the elimination rounds before losing to Penn State sophomore and eventual champion David Gomez Tanamachi in the finals, 15-12.

In the epee, the Irish placed two fencers in the round of eight. However, neither junior Garrett McGrath nor freshman Nicholas Hanahan could advance to the final four. Hanahan had a tough defeat, as he lost to Ohio State freshman Julian Raul as time expired, 8-7. Hanahan placed seventh, and McGrath grabbed eighth.

Irish junior Catherine Lee, right, competes during the DiCicco Duals on Feb. 8 at Purcell Pavilion. Lee finished second in the epee.Wei Lin | The Observer
Irish junior Catherine Lee, right, competes during the DiCicco Duals on Feb. 8 at Purcell Pavilion. Lee finished second in the epee.
The Irish only fought with three sabreists and were led by junior John Hallsten’s fifth-place finish. He advanced to the  elimination rounds as the No. 2 seed and fell to defending NCAA champion and Penn State junior Kaito Streets in the quarterfinals, 15-10.

A day earlier, the women’s team also turned in an impressive performance and earned a medal in each event.

In the epee, junior Catherine Lee lost to Ohio State sophomore Eugenia Falqui in the final round to claim second. Her finish capped three other Irish top-15 finishes, including sophomore Eva Niklinska’s eighth-place finish.

In the sabre, sophomore Allison Barry fenced Pennsylvania sophomore Dana Kong to a tie for third place, which earned her a spot on the podium. She was followed by Irish freshmen Madeline Gallagher and Jamie Norville, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

Rounding out the competition, the Irish placed well in the foil. Junior Nicole McKee finished second, while three other foilists claimed top-15 spots.

Irish fencers next head to Dallas for the North American Cup next Friday through Monday.

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