ST. LOUIS - The Columbia fencing team kicked off the 2012-13 season with a strong showing at the first North American Cup of the year, held October 12-15. A total of thirteen current Columbia team members and five alumni placed in the top 32.

A top-32 finish in a North American Cup event qualifies a fencer for the United States National Division I Championships, which will be held in 2013.

Headlining the top finishers was Columbia assistant coach Daria Schneider, who won gold in the Division I women's sabre, sophomore Michael Josephs, who won bronze in Division I men's sabre and freshmen Jackie Dubrovich, who earned bronze in Division I women's foil.

"These strong finishes are a result from all the hard work our athletes have put in," Columbia fencing head coach Michael Aufrichtig said. "It is great to have so many over achievers on our team!"

Joining Dubrovich in the top 32 out of 121 fencers for the Division I women's foil competition was Margret Lu, who finished fifth, Nzingha Prescod, coming in right behind Lu at sixth place, Nicole Ross, who finished 12th, and alumna All-American Dr. Ann Marsh-Senic ('94CC) who came in 10th.

Out of 152 fencers in the Division I women's epee competition, Lydia Kopecky finished 11th, while Diana Tsinis earned a 19th-place finish.

In Division I men's foil Adam Mathieu fought his way to an 18th-place finish out of 191 competitors.

In the largest competition of the tournament, 255 fencers dueled for the Division I men's epee title. Alen Hadzic was the top Columbia finisher, coming in at 15th, followed by a 28th-place finish for Justin Wan and 29th place for Jake Hoyle. Alumni All-American Dwight Smith ('10CC) and Lorenzo Casertano ('09CC) came in 13th and 18th, respectively.

Joining Josephs in the top 32 for the Division I men's sabre competition was Will Spear (15th), Geoffrey Loss (29th) and Columbia alumni All-Americans Paolo Roselli ('03GS) and Jeff Spear ('10CC), who tied for 10th.

Excitement continues for Columbia fencing in the midst of Homecoming weekend as the Lions hold their annual Alumni Meet on Sunday, October 21st.

Those interested in attending should RSVP by clicking here.  The meet is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by a brunch.