2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 20, 2006
Club fencers roll wit varsit crowd
Athlte ItheT Bale
Athlete of the Wee
Team: Men's Tennis
Hometown: Altamonte Springs, Fla.
By Jessica Asbill
For the Daily
The Michigan club fencing team
has proven that even with the status of
a club team, it can compete nationally
at the varsity level.
The team finished third out of 16
teams -,six of which held varsity sta-
tus - in the Midwest Fencing Cham-
pionships at Notre Dame on Feb. 26.
The team landed behind 2004 NCAA
champion Notre Dame and 2005 run-
ner-up, Ohio State.
Michigan coach Jim Vesper - the
1999 Midwest Coach of the Year -
led to the best finish of a club team in
the history of the championships.
At the championships, Michigan
was named the top club team overall,
earning the first-place trophy in every
weapon category except for men's
Each team has six squads - three
men and three women - consisting of
four members. Each squad competes
in one of the three weapon categories:
sabre, 6pee and foil. In individual bat-
tles, the first to score 14 points by hit-
ting the designated target areas is the
winner. Then, the individual scores
are combined to constitute an overall
The fencing team hopes to gain
more popularity i, its sport and even-
tually become a varsity squad eligible
to compete in the NCAA Tournament.
The club team has between 30 and
40 participants who attend practice
on a regular basis, but just the top
four from each squad travel to com-
pete. The team accepts anyone who
wants to participate, holding prac-
tices at the Sports Coliseum on Mon-
day, Wednesday and Friday from 7 to
The fencing team is one of the old-
est club sport teams on campus. But,
inadequate resources prevent the team
from competing at a varsity level. In
spite of the unfavorable circumstances
surrounding the team, it has been able
to successfully compete against varsity
squads and attract top competitors.
Senior Adam Mazick, the team's
top men's epeeist, is currently prepar-
ing to try out for the U.S. men's epe
team set to compete at the 2008 Sum-
mer Olympics in Beijing.
Junior Sean O'Brien, who has a
win-rate of 85 percent as Michigan's
the top men's foilist, was a former
competitor in the Junior Olympics.
But it's not necessary to have com-
peted at the national level to succeed
on the fencing team.
Meg Nisch, senior captain of the
women's foil, joined the fencing team
as a way to become more involved on
"It's a great way to make friends,"
Nisch said. "Even if you don't want to
become crazy involved in the sport, if
you ask anyone on the team, they will
tell you it has completely shaped their
involvement on campus."
Nisch and the other captains share
various responsibilities from devising
individual and team strategy to mak-
ing tournament arrangements and
Nisch finds satisfaction' in her
responsibilities as captain.
"I think the most enjoyable part is
taking someone from the Diag who
has never fenced before and help-
ing them find a passion in the sport,"
Why: The freshman went 2-0 in both singles and doubles over
the weekend. Yesterday, Mazlin notched the match-clinching
victory at No. 4 singles, 6-3, 6-3. In doubles, he teamed with
junior Ryan Heller to help Michigan earn the doubles point in
Date Event Location Time
3/20 M Basketball vs. Notre Dame Ann Arbor 7 p.m.
3/22 W Tennis @ Michigan State East Lansing 6 p.m.
3/23- M Swimming/Diving Atlanta 12 p.m.
3/25 @ NCAA Championships
3/24 WTrack/FieldIrideFrksf.D. 2T
@ Cal Irvine Invitational Mrvin 1 p.m.
3/24 Baseball vs. Oakland Ann Arbor 3:05 p.m.
3/24- Softball @ Louisville Classic Louisville, Ky. 5:30 p.m.
3/24- M Gymnastics Iowa City 7 p.m.
3/25 @ Big Ten Championships
3/24 Ice Hockey Grand Forks, N.D. TBA
@ NCAA Tournament
3/25 W Rowing @ Princeton Princeton, N.J. TBA
3/25 Water PoloBloignTA
@ Fluid Five ChallengeTS
W Tennis vs. Wisconsin Ann Arbor 11 a.m.
M Tennis @ Wisconsind Madison 1 p.m.
Baseball vs. Oakland (DH) Ann Arbor 1:05 p.M.
W Gymnastics East Lansing 6 p.m.
@ Big Ten Chamhpionships_________ ___
3/26 W Tennis vs. Northwestern Ann Arbor 11 a.m.
Baseball vs. Oakland Ann Arbor 1:05 P.M.
Season ends with
fContinued from page 11B
but the officials granted only two
points as the second-period clock
Swent to zeroes.
Churella started on top in the final
frame. After making an escape, Hen-
dricks scored on a very questionable
takedown as he didn't appear to take
complete control on the move. But
the official deemed it worthy of two
Churella quickly escaped to
,regain an 8-7 lead.
But with 15 ticks left on the
clock, the defending champ made
. his move. Both wrestlers fought for
control, but Hendricks knockedwthe
,Wovernecaptain off balance and
mounted a huge single-leg takedown
with just three seconds remaining in
,the match. The maneuver gave Hen-
1dricks the lead for good and handed
Churella his first loss since the two
rmet in last year's national semifi-
"I know in my heart that I did
everything I needed to do to win
,that match," Churella said. "It was
a, good match, but I came out on the
Churella finished with a career-
best second-place in the NCAA and
a third straight All-America certifi-
Senior co-captain Greg Wagner
also garnered All-American honors
for the third straight year.
He lost a tight semifinal match to
second-seeded Steve Mocco of Okla-
homa State on Friday. The heavy-
weights traded escapes in periods
one and two, but neither could mount
a takedown. Mocco took the 2-1
decision with a riding time advan-
tage of 1:48.
Wagner responded to the loss with
two consolation-bracket victories
by scores of 6-0 and 9-1 to place a
"Those two (Churella and Wagner)
have been two of the best captains
we've ever had here," McFarland said.
"They're tremendous, and it showed
Redshirt sophomore Eric Tannen-
baum achieved All-American status
as well. The 149-pound Wolverine
lost both of his consolation matches
Saturday but his four wins in the
first two days carried him to a sixth-
Having three All-Americans is no
small feat. But six Michigan wres-
tlers were eliminated in the opening
days - too many to make a serious
run at a team title.
Redshirt sophomore Josh Churella
appeared to be on his way to another
top-eight finish on day one, but was
ousted after two straight losses on
"It was a tough weekend on the
Wolverines," McFarland said. "But
I'm still proud of our guys. We had
a great season."
Men's track starts outdoor season at Shamrock
Just one week after competing in
the NCAA Indoor Championships, the
men's track and field team kicked off
the outdoor season this weekend at the
Shamrock Invitational at the Coastal
h Carolina Track and Field Facility in
Among the Wolverines in action
were some familiar faces that haven't
competed since last year.
Redshirt junior Adam Kiesler made
his debut in the multi-events after red-
shirting the indoor season. The Roches-
ter, Ill. native claimed victory in the long
jump with a leap of 22-9, finished 23rd
in the 200-meter dash and became the
first Wolverine to compete in the javelin
throw in two years with his 11th-place
toss. Before this weekend, Kiesler com-
peted in the long jump.
Senior Rondell Ruff raced for the
first time since the cross-country
RODRIGOGAYA/Daily season, having exhausted his indoor
Senior Greg Wagner earned his third straight All-America honor. eligibility. After helping the NCAA
champion distance medley relay team
indoors and qualifying for the NCAA
Outdoor Championships last year,
the Detroit native started his track
season with top-six finishes in two
events - a sixth in the 800-meter run
and a third in the mile.
The Wolverines also sent a large
corps of throwers to this weekend's
Senior Paul Sarantos headlined the
Michigan throwers by winning the
shot put (52-6 1/2) and taking fourth
in the discus throw (151-10).
Freshman Sean Pruitt took second
in the shot put in his first outdoor
event with a second-place throw of
In the hammer throw, junior Chris
McHugh finished third with a launch
The team will return to action in
two weeks at the Yellow Jacket Invi-
tational on April 1.
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