March 13, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill.-- Five Northwestern Wildcats have been chosen to travel to Columbus, Ohio to participate in the National Collegiate Fencing Championships. The four-day competition is scheduled to take place March 22-25 at French Field House and St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State University.
The 'Cats will be represented over that weekend in each of the three weapons. Senior foil Devynn Patterson has been selected for the fourth time in her illustrious career. Patterson, owner of 276 career wins in dual bouts, enjoyed her best finish at the event in 2009 when she placed 13th. The Seattle, Wash., native will be joined by foilist and two-time All-American, Dayana Sarkisova. The junior won the bronze medal as a freshman in 2010 and followed that up with a 10th-place finish last spring.
Northwestern will also send a pair of epée fencers to NCAA Championships. Epée squad captain Kate Cavanaugh has qualified for the second straight time and she will try to improve upon last season's 19th-place finish. The junior won the individual gold medal in epée at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships earlier this month. Cavanaugh was the first individual medalist for NU at that competition since 2010 and she helped the 'Cats achieve a second-place finish, their best since 2007.
Cavanaugh will be joined in the epée field by freshman Courtney Dumas. At the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship on March 10, Dumas finished at the head of the class with 11 wins in pools while fencing in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The newcomer lost only two bouts on the day, and one was to her teammate and the runner-up, Cavanaugh.
Chloe Grainger will be the lone Wildcat in the sabre field at the NCAA Championships. Like Cavaanugh, Grainger will be participating in her second national championship. She finished 21st in 2011.
The field for each weapon is comprised of 24 fencers. Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin portion, the top-four finishers will fence 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.
Northwestern's place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by Cavanaugh, Dumas, Grainger, Patterson and Sarkisova. The Wildcats will be awarded one point for each victory for the duration of the championships.
Live coverage of the 2012 NCAA Fencing Championships will be available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. An hour long, documentary-style highlight show of the National Collegiate Men's and Women's Fencing Championships will be shown on ESPNU at 10 a.m. on March 31.
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