Fencing dominates in NCAAs

The Red Storm fencing teams had strong showings at the 2008 NCAA Championships, combining to finish fifth overall in the tournament.

All-American captain Monika Golebiewski represented the St. John’s women well, capturing the individual gold medal and finishing her collegiate fencing career ranked first in the nation.

Golebiewski did her best Jason from ‘Friday the 13th’ rendition, slicing and dicing her way to two convincing victories and 19 points overall in the foil event for the gold.

Fellow senior and All-American Reka Szele left her mark on the tournament as well, finishing with the silver medal in the epee event. Szele and Golebiewski both captured medals for the second consecutive year. The women’s squad finished the season fourth overall nationally, with a total of 75 points.

St. John’s added some more highlights to its already impressive list of accolades, including a national top-five men’s ranking for the thirteenth year in a row.

First-team All-Americans included Luther Clement and junior Stan Vaksman, who both narrowly missed out on bronze medals. The men finished the tournament fifth overall with 70 points.

The men’s team finished the season with an 8-4 overall record and the women finished with an impressive 10-3 mark. The teams combined for 145 total points, and finished 40 points behind the host Ohio State who finished first.

Head coach Yury Gelman expressed satisfaction in the performance exhibited by his team leaders.

“Every senior did excellent this year,” Gleman told CSTV.com

Since 1995, the Storm has added 25 members to the ranks of All-American. The top-12 finishers in national competitions earn the title.

Gelman also commented to CSTV.com on his hopes for next season without the bulk of his seniors.

“Basically, the seniors lead the team, but we will have to rebuild next year in hopes of a top finish in the national championship.”