March 14, 2012
Two North Carolina fencers have qualified for the 2012 NCAA Fencing Championships, to be held March 22-25 in Columbus, Ohio. Freshman Gillian Litynski will compete in women's sabre and senior Kevin Nadeau will compete in men's foil.
Additionally, two Tar Heels are alternates for the competition. Freshman Lidea Shahidi (women's epee) and sophomore Sam Austin (men's sabre) could be added up until the day before the start of the championship. Both were regional at-large nominations. "They still have a shot," UNC coach Ron Miller said.
As a freshman, Litynski will be making her first appearance, but it's the second trip for Nadeau, who qualified as a sophomore and finished 22nd in men's foil.
"Kevin has a very loose, easygoing attitude," Miller said. "He'll fence as hard as he can. And more so than in the past years, he doesn't have anything to lose - he can just go and have a good time and fence well, which is exactly what he did in the regional. He started out a little unsteady in the first round and improved every round and then really did well in the final.
"Gillian was really outstanding in the finals of the regional - she beat some of the top seeds handily. She had a very good performance. "
Nadeau finished eight at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic'South Regionals March 10 in Easton, Pa. Litynski was fourth.
The championship field of 144 includes fencers from all six weapons: foil, epee and sabre for both men and women. Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round robin, the top four fencers will compete in semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places and the losers being awarded a tie for third place.
An institution's finish in the championship will be based on points earned by the individuals competing.
Live coverage of the event will be available online at espn3.com. An hour-long, documentary-style highlight show will air on ESPNU on March 31 at 11 a.m. EDT.