The defending NCAA champions traveled to South Bend, Indiana to compete in the Midwest Conference Championships. Since not enough B1G schools field varsity teams in fencing, the conference Ohio State competes in is a bit different that the standard Ohio State fans is used to. The Midwestern conference is likely the toughest fencing conference in the NCAA, featuring perennial National Championship contenders Ohio State and Notre Dame, and the always tough Northwestern women's squad, and the scrappy Wayne State.
The championships are split across two days, one where the athletes compete with each other for Individual titles and the other features team based events to crown a team the overall Conference champ.
Senior Max Sterns claimed gold in Men's Sabre, defeating Notre Dame's best man in the final, and 2012 Olympian Mona Shaito won gold in Women's Foil. Kristian Boyadzhiev, a junior in Men's Epee, captured silver and several Buckeyes took home bronze.
As a team Ohio State did well, but was unable to best Norte Dame, falling 1,560-1,590 in the overall team points. While it is a disappointment as Ohio State used to dominant the conference, the fact is that the Buckeye squad isn't built to win in this context. Team dual events need depth, something the Buckeyes lost due to graduation. Some of the squads are patchwork teams of fencers converting over from other events.
This squad is a bit top heavy, but that is just fine for the NCAA championships, were only the top two from each weapon qualify. So expect Ohio State to still be a contender for the NCAA title, as they travel to qualifiers to try to send the maximum of 12 fencers to NCAAs.
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