The NCAA Fencing Championships in Cleveland got underway on Thursday, with the Irish men and women both ranked #1 in the country. While the men’s and women’s teams are ranked separately, the national championship rankings are a combined effort.
On Thursday and Friday, the men ended their portion of the competition in 3rd place and with an individual national champion and an individual runner-up.
11.Ariel Simmons 12-11 (+4)
21.Stephen Ewart 9-14 (-15)
1.Nick Itkin 19-4 (+57)
2.Axel Kiefer 19-4 (+47)
15.Alessandro Contreras 10-13 (-16)
20.Arsenii Panteleev 9-14 (-30)
When you’re this good, there’s only one thing left to do:— Notre Dame Fencing (@NDFencing) March 22, 2019
WIN#GoIrish ☘️ pic.twitter.com/1bmGgEmsyi
1. Columbia (90)
2. Penn State (84)
3. Notre Dame (78)
4. Harvard (72)
5. Ohio State (69)
It was Domer vs Domer in the foil competition with Nick Itkin vs Axel Kiefer with Itkin coming out on top and claiming a back-to-back national championship.
WOMEN UP NEXT
The women’s competition will begin Saturday morning. The competition order is as follows:
- Epee @ 9:00 AM Rounds 1-3
- Foil @ 11:00 AM Rounds 1-3
- Sabre @ 1:00 PM Rounds 1-3
On Sunday, the championships will wrap up as follows:
- Foil, Epee and Sabre Rounds 4-5 1:30 p.m.
- Semifinal and Championship bouts in order of epee, foil, sabre
LOOKING FOR A COMEBACK
The Irish are down 12 points to Columbia (which was ranked #2 in both men’s and women’s categories heading into the tournament). Perhaps the women can still pull this off with a dominating effort.
If the Irish do win a national championship, it would be the first time in Notre Dame athletic history that a program has had a three-peat championship.
The event won’t be televised on Saturday, but it will be at 1:00 on Sunday on ESPN 3.
You can follow the event on Twitter by following the team account @NDFencing.