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Ten Fencers Named to Capital One Academic All-District® At-Large Teams

05/15/2015, 3:30pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Lee Kiefer, Olympian and Capital One Academic All-District® At-Large Team member. Photo Credit: U.S. Olympic Committee

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Ten collegiate fencers have been named to the Capital One Academic All-District® At-Large Team.

The honorees were selected based on their achievements both on the strip and in the classroom and were nominated by their college’s sports information director and were chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

To be eligible for consideration, athletes must have sophomore status, hold a GPA of 3.3 or higher and be a member of the school’s varsity team or a key reserve.

The Academic All-District® At-Large Team is are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada and include NCAA Division I, II and III First Teams as well as a College Division First Team which combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.

The Academic All-District® At-Large Team is highlighted by 2012 Olympian Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.) A three-time NCAA Champion for Notre Dame, Kiefer is a science pre-professional studies major with a 3.69 GPA who will take the 2015-16 year off from school to train for the Rio Olympic Games. Ranked No. 3 in the world, Kiefer recently won her sixth straight Pan American Championship title and plans on attending med school after graduation – following in the footsteps of both her parents and older sister Alex Kiefer.

Both Johns Hopkins and Wayne State earned honors for two fencers on their teams.

Johns Hopkins Team Captain Glenn Balbus (New Fairfield, Conn.) is a senior with a 4.0 GPA in mechanical engineering. The B-rated foil fencer received USA Fencing All-Academic Team honors as a high school student as well. Epee squad captain Mark Zimmerman (Mendham, N.J.) holds a 3.98 GPA in applied math and statistics. The two led Johns Hopkins to its third straight MACFA Championship title in February.

Wayne State’s honorees hail from Egypt and Poland. Saber fencer Ziad Elsissy represented Egypt at the 2013 and 2014 Senior World Championships and is attempting to qualify for his first Olympic Team in 2016. A chemical engineering major with a 3.54 GPA, Elsissy received Second-Team All-American honors after placing seventh at the NCAAs as a sophomore in March. A sophomore foil fencer from Poland, Zuzanna Sobczak finished seventh at the 2011 Junior World Championships and now balances training with competing on the World Cup circuit. Sobczak is pursuing a degree in civil engineering and maintains a 3.91 GPA. Sobczak qualified for the NCAA Championships in both 2014 and 2015, earning Honorable Mention All-American honors this year.

A bronze medalist in her NCAA Championship debut in 2013, University of North Carolina fencer Gillian Litynski (Niskayuna, N.Y.) is a former USA Fencing Division II National Champion who placed in the top eight at the 2013 USA Fencing Division I Nationals and took a bronze on the North American Cup circuit this year. The 2015 ACC Women’s Saber Fencer of the Year earned NCAA All-American honors in 2013, 2014 and 2015 while pursuing a double major in nursing and global studies and holding down a 3.54 GPA. The recent graduate is a recipient of the ACC Weaver-James-Corrigan postgraduate scholarship and will enter the UNC School of Nursing next year.

Drew Dickinson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) is one of the rare athletes to be named to the Academic All-District® At-Large Team as both a sophomore and a junior. Dickinson, who placed fifth at the 2015 NCAA Western Regional, is majoring in biochemistry and cell biology and is the captain of the University of California at San Diego saber Squad.

Brown University foil fencer Barrett Weiss (Barrington, R.I.) qualified for NCAAs as a freshman in 2012 and was honored as both an Academic All-Ivy selection and the NFC Men’s Fencer of the Year this season. A neuroscience major with a 3.65 GPA, Weiss was a former bronze medalist at the USA Fencing Division IA National Championships.

Saberist Sarah Innes-Gold (North Hampton, Mass.) fences for Tufts where the senior holds a 3.85 GPA in chemical physics and also serves as secretary of the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Canadian Jennifer Beaudette is a double-sport athlete at Brock University where she competes in both rowing and fencing and holds a 3.80 GPA in medical sciences.

All members of the Academic All-District® At-Large Team will advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® team ballot. Honorees will be announced in June.

Click here to view complete lists of all teams. 

Tag(s): News  Lee Kiefer