Nine Columbia Fencers Ready for Nation's Best at the 2011 NCAA Championships
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK – Nine Columbia fencers will make their way to Ohio State University this week to take part in the 2011 NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, beginning Thursday, March 24.

Five Columbia women and four Columbia men will compete for the top prizes in collegiate fencing.  On the women's side, junior Sammy Roberts and sophomore Loweye Diedro will compete in women's sabre, along with two epeeists, first-year Katya English and sophomore Lydia Kopecky , and sophomore foilist D'Meca Homer .

Four Columbia men all will be making their first NCAA Championships appearance in their first collegiate season.  Foilists Bo Charles and Alex Pensler , epeeist Alen Hadzic and sabrist Mel Rodriguez , all first-years, will be competing among the nation's finest.

The National Collegiate Men's and Women's Fencing Championships include individual events in each of the six weapons (men's foil, men's epee, men's sabre, women's foil, women's epee, women's sabre).

Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four fencers fence semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the losers being awarded a tie for third place. Absolute ties for the seeding will be broken as follows: for positions one through three, by a coin toss; for position four, by a fence-off.

An institution's place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships.

The men's competition will take place on Thursday and Friday, while the women begin competition on Saturday and conclude on Sunday.  Links to the complete schedule of events, as well as other information about the 2010 NCAA Fencing Championships, are available below.

Official 2011 NCAA Fencing Championships Website
Complete Schedule of Events
Complete List of Qualifiers