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St. John’s Finishes Sixth at the 2017 NCAA Championships

Monday, March 27, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS  After Andras Nemeth and Cooper Schumacher both took home the NCAA individual championship in men’s foil and epee, respectively, on Friday afternoon the Red Storm boasted three female fencers on the piste on Sunday in Indianapolis and Mathilda Taharo led the way finishing in a tie for third place. 

Notre Dame won its ninth-ever fencing championship, followed by Ohio State (161 points), Columbia (152 points), Princeton (145 points), Harvard (124 points) and St. John’s (118 points). Despite not having any fencers in women’s foil at the championships, the Red Storm was very impressive all four days on the piste to finish in sixth place. 

The veteran Taharo registered 16 victories in women’s saber to advance to the knockout 15-point bout semifinals. She then fell to the eventual champion Francesca Russo of Notre Dame to finish in a tie for third place for the second-straight year. In her two years as a Johnny, she claimed two bronze medals at the NCAA Championships. 

Joining Taharo in saber was the newcomer Karolina Cieslar, who placed eighth after winning 14 bouts on Sunday afternoon. The NCAA Northeast Regional champion impressed in her first-ever NCAA Championships and earned Second-Team All-American. 

Fencing in her third-straight NCAA Championships, Veronika Zuikova registered 14 triumphs, but just missed the semifinals to finish in fifth place. It marked the highest placing of her career at the championships after finishing in eighth last season. 

Head Coach Yury Gelman and his St. John’s fencing squad wrapped up another season placing sixth or better, which marks the 25th-straight year for the program where it finished in sixth or better at the NCAA Championships. The Johnnies earned eight spots in the championships out of 12 and were still able to place sixth.

St. John's Individual Results/Records from the 2017 NCAA Fencing Championships

Men’s Saber

Ben Natanzon - T-3rd place - Bronze medalist, First-Team All-American, 15-9 
Ferenc Valkai - 11th place - All-American Honorable Mention, 13-10

Men’s Foil

Andras Nemeth - 1st place - Gold medalist, First-Team All-American, 18-7 

Men’s Epee

Cooper Schumacher - 1st place - Gold medalist, First-Team All-American, 19-6 

Yevgeniy Karyuchenko - 6th place - Second-Team All-American, 14-9

Women’s Saber

Mathilda Taharo - T-3rd place - Bronze medalist, First-Team All-American, 16-8

Karolina Cieslar - 8th place - Second-Team All-American, 14-9 

Women’s Epee

Veronika Zuikova - 5th place - Second-Team All-American, 14-9