St. John’s finishes sixth overall at NCAA Championships

Senior Isis Washington win national championship in women’s epee

Kiesha Raymond, Contributing Writer

The St. John’s fencing team had a strong finish to the season.  They finished in sixth place at the 2015 NCAA Fencing Champions at French Fieldhouse of Ohio State University with a total score of 137 points.

The Red Storm maintained its streak of finishing sixth or higher at the national championship for 23 years.  Five fencers for the Red Storm earned All-American honors, which includes senior Isis Washington, who became the 22nd national champion in the program history by winning the 2015 NCAA Fencing Champion. Washington won against Julia Garcia of New Jersey Institute of Technology in the women’s epee finals. She won the match 15-6 to win the gold medal and All-American honor for the first time in her career.

Senior Marta Hausman and junior Irene Spezzamonte took home All-American honors two years in a row. Hausman tied for third and claimed the bronze medal.  Hausman lost to No. 1 seed Lee Kiefer of Notre Dame 15-7. Kiefer would later on claim the national title.  Spezzamonte improved from 10th place last year to eighth overall this year with a record 13-10 to earn second-team All-American honors.

Hausman on the overall season said, “I’m happy with the season overall. I had better and worse performances throughout the season but I had a very strong finish at the regionals and then most importantly at the NCAA champions. I’m fully satisfied with my third place. Making top 4 this year only increased my appetite for next year’s championships.”

After taking a year off, sophomore Margaret McDonald returned to the national championship and finished in 15th place with a 9-14 record in the women’s saber event. Freshman Veronika Zuikova, who was making her NCAA championship debut, finished with a record of 12-10 for 12th place in the women’s epee.

On the men’s side, saber fencers and juniors Roman Sydorenko and Ferenc Valkai both had 17 wins in pool play. No. 3 seed Sydorenko would face and lose to Andrew Mackiewicz of Penn State 15-8  to take home the bronze medal. No. 4 Valkai would lose to Eli Dershwitz of Harvard 15-10 in the finals to claim the silver medal.

Valkai said, “Losing a final is always hard, but I am really happy that I could make it to the NCAA top two for the second year in a row. This season was long and tough, but I’m proud to be a member of one of the strongest teams in the country and one of, if not the most, successful team of St. John’s.”