Taking care of business

NEW YORK- Looking for a strong start to the 2008 season after finishing second overall at the NCAA Tournament last year, St. John’s fencing put forth a strong effort at the NYU Invitational on Saturday.

The Tournament was the Red Storm’s- nationally ranked at No. 4- first competition in 2008 and third event of the season, as the Johnnies faced off against the likes of No. 2 Ohio State and No 3. Notre Dame. After participating in five rounds throughout the day, head coach Yury Gelman was satisfied with his team’s efforts.

“I am pleased with our finish today. We could’ve done a lot better but psychologically my fencers don’t believe they are as good as they are,” said Gelman.

In round one St. John’s was matched with Wayne State as both the men’s and women’s teams came away with wins.

The men won by a score of 21-5, including a 9-0 finish in the Foil competition. Led by seniors Luther Clement and Henry Kennard, the men managed to successfully start the tournament by winning all three competitions epee, sabre, and foil.

The women’s team finished with a score of 19-8, out-matching Wayne State in both the foil and the epee competition. Foil competitor Katia Larchanka led the way for the Red Storm while posting two uncontested matches.

St. John’s did not fare as well in the second round, as Ohio State dominated both the women’s and men’s squads, winning 20-7 and 19-8, respectively.

Ohio State’s Mikhail Momtselidze defeated Luther Clement 5-2 to start the men’s sabre competition.

“I’m content with my finish at the competition,” Clement, who received last year’s ECAC scholar athlete of the year award, said. “My toughest opponent was Mike Momtselidze, a childhood rival of mine. He is the strongest fencer in this competition.”

St. John’s took its second win of the competition over NYU as the men cruised to an 18-9 victory and the women also handled the host team, winning by a score of 19-8
In the latter half of the Invitational the Johnnies would fall to third ranked Notre Dame, 18-9 and 14-13 for the men and women, respectively.

“My toughest opponent was Adrinne Nott,” women’s captain Monika Golebiewski said after being out-dueled 5-0 in the foil, and who seemed less than pleased with the team’s efforts for the day.

The men would finish the tournament strong against Columbia 19-8. The women fell 19-8, only claiming the foil 5-4.

Sophomore standout Torian Brown capped off his day with three wins against Columbia in the men’s sabre.