St. John’s holds fencing invitational

Nick McCreven, Staff Writer


Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Harvard, and two-time defending national champion Columbia came to Taffner Fieldhouse this Saturday for the St. John’s Fencing Invitational.

The Red Storm men tied for first place after going 3-2 in all, taking down Harvard, Notre Dame, and Columbia. St. John’s took down the nationally top-ranked Columbia 15-12. Saber fencer Ferenc Valkai went 14-1 on the day and Ben Natanzon finished with an impressive 12-3 record as well. The men’s saber squad finished 27-18 as a whole.

Yevgeniy Karyuchenko led the men’s epee team with nine wins. Cooper Schumacher and Curtis McDowald both provided solid outings as well, winning seven and eight bouts respectively. In the men’s foil, Andras Nemeth went 12-3 on the afternoon

The Red Storm women finished in sixth at the invitational. Freshman Karolina Cieslar had a solid afternoon going 11-4 against some of the best collegiate saber fencers in the country. Veronika Zuikova also tallied 11 wins on a successful day, adding to her strong season performance. The women’s epee squad recorded 21 total wins with Ally Ryf and Olivia Xu leading the way with a combined 10 victories.

The Red Zone helped set up for the event in Taffner on Friday night and it took the student members nearly seven hours to complete the process.

The Johnnies also received a few notable visits from a past and a future Red Storm fencer. Dagmara Wozniak, St. John’s alumna, was in attendance on Saturday, watching and cheering on the current Red Storm fencers. Wozniak placed eighth in the 2012 Summer Olympics and also was a top 10 saber fencer in the 2016 Olympics. Ivan Zagoruiko, a transfer student who will be joining the team next year, also came to watch.