Pair of Red Storm fencers take national title

Brianna Pace, Staff Writer

Over the weekend, the St. John’s Fencing Team competed in the NCAA Championships. St. John’s was represented by eight fencers, five men and three women. After finishing sixth overall in points among schools, St. John’s has now finished in at least sixth place overall for 25 straight years.

Cooper Schumacher and Andras Nemeth dominated the competition. They both finished first in their respective events.

Schumacher competed in Men’s Epee. He went 17/23 in his bouts before moving onto the finals where he defeated both Ariel Simmons of Notre Dame and Justin Yoo of Pennsylvania to claim the title. He was named a First-Team All-American.

Nemeth competed in Men’s Foil. He finished 16/23 in his bouts before moving onto the finals. Nemeth faced Alexander Massialas of Stanford, the reigning Olympic Silver Medalist in Men’s Foil. After defeating Massialas, Nemeth moved on to fence Nolen Scruggs of Columbia, whom he defeated to claim the title. Nemeth earned First-Team All-American honors as well.

Also, earning a medal was Ben Natanzon in Men’s Saber. Natanzon went 15/23 in his bouts before reaching the finals. He fenced Eli Dershwitz of Harvard in the first round of the finals. After losing to Dershwitz he placed in a tie for third. Dershwitz went on the win the Men’s Saber title. Natanzon earned First-Team All-American after his showing in the championships.

Yevgeniy Karyuchenko finished in sixth in Men’s Epee earning Second Team All-American. He went 14/23 in his bouts. Ferenc Valkai ended up in 11th place in Men’s Saber after going 13/23. He earned All-American Honorable Mention.

In women’s competition, Mathilda Taharo took charge and led the Johnnies. Taharo competed in Women’s Saber. She finished in a tie for third place after falling to Francesca Russo of Notre Dame. Russo went on to win the title. Taharo finished 16/23 in her bouts before reaching the finals and earned First-Team All-American. Taharo was the only member of the women’s team to medal.

Veronika Zuikova competed in Women’s Epee. She finished in fifth place after going 14/23 in her bouts and earned Second-Team All-American. Karolina Cieslar fenced in Women’s Saber. She finished in eighth place after fencing 14/23 in her bouts. She also earned Second-Team All-American.

Notre Dame won its ninth NCAA Fencing Championship. In second was Ohio State, followed by Columbia, then Princeton, Harvard and finally St. John’s. St. John’s walks away with a notable finish after only qualifying eight fencers, none of which competed in Women’s Foil.