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Princeton, Ohio State and Penn State Qualify Full Teams for NCAAs

03/11/2014, 4:15pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Susie Scanlan won bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games and is hoping to lead Princeton to a second NCAA team title.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Together, the fencing teams from Princeton, Ohio State and Penn State have won seven of the last eight NCAA Championships.

This year, all three will field full teams of 12 at the NCAA Championships which will be held at Ohio State from March 20-23.

The reigning National Champion, Princeton, is led by 2012 Olympic team bronze medalist Susie Scanlan (St. Paul, Minn.) A three-time All-American, Scanlan is aiming to close out her collegiate career with an individual epee title after finishing second in 2013, but one of her toughest opponents could be 2013 Senior World Team member Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) who won the Mid-Atlantic / South Regional Championships ahead of Scanlan last weekend.

For Princeton, the news of qualifying 12 athletes for the NCAA Championships comes on the heels of a visit by the fencing team to the White House on Monday where the athletes met President Barack Obama and were honored for their 2013 NCAA victory. 

The last time the NCAAs were held in Columbus in 2012, Ohio State took the team title on home turf. Zain Shaito, who went on to represent Lebanon at the London Olympic Games, won the men’s NCAA individual foil title as a sophomore in 2012 and will be joined by his younger sister Mona Shaito this year. Also a London Olympian for Lebanon, Mona placed third at the 2013 NCAAs and the foil fencer is now a junior.

Penn State’s last team title came in 2010 when the Nittany Lions successfully defended the championship they won in State College in 2009. Penn State’s squad includes seven members of past U.S. Junior and Senior World Championship Teams with two of its top contenders for individual titles being foil fencers David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.), a three-time Junior World medalist, and Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.) who won silver in the team competition at the 2013 Junior Worlds.

Three of Scanlan’s 2012 U.S. Olympic Teammates also qualified for NCAAs.

Men’s foil fencers Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco, Calif.) and Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) won silver together in the team competition at the 2013 Senior World Championships, but the long-time U.S. teammates will be two of the top contenders for gold at the NCAAs as Massialas attempts to defend the title he won as a freshman at Stanford in 2013 and Meinhardt looks to finish his collegiate career with a second title after his 2010 individual win for Notre Dame.

Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), a 2011 Senior World medalist, won NCAAs as a freshman foil fencer at Notre Dame while dropping just one pool bout at last year’s championships on her way to taking the title.

Click here to view the complete list of qualifiers. 

Tag(s): News  Alexander Massialas  Gerek Meinhardt  Lee Kiefer