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    Wildcats Ink 12 to National Letters of Intent

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Laurie Schiller welcomes 12 new fencers to comprise the Class of 2017.
    Head coach Laurie Schiller welcomes 12 new fencers to comprise the Class of 2017.

    Dec. 11, 2012

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern fencing head coach Laurie Schiller announced the addition of 12 student-athletes that have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Wildcats next fall.

    The talented group hails from seven different states, plus one who calls the District of Columbia home and another who will come to Evanston by way of Paris, France. Amongst the 12 incoming 'Cats five are foilists, four are expected to compete in sabre, and three are epéeists.

    "I am really excited about our new class," said Schiller. "We are graduating some top-notch seniors in the spring so we set out to find an excellent group to come in and not only maintain, but build the level that we expect here at Northwestern.

    "In particular, I am pleased that we really bolstered our sabre contingent since we will only have a few returners next year. I know that they will have an immediate impact on our program," said Schiller. "We are fortunate to have such a big and experienced class to come in and help us win championships."

    Below are complete bios for each member of Northwestern's Class of 2017:

    Julia Abelsky
    Sandy Springs, Ga./North Springs Charter

    High School: Competed for the Nellya Fencers Club for six years ... Earned first-place at the Georgia games ... captured first-place in Division I ROC ... Was a Junior Points List Member ... Finished in the top 32 at the Division 1A Summer Nationals ... Member of the varsity golf team ... Finished in third-place at the Georgia State Regionals in golf ... Named to the USA Fencing All-Academic First-Team for three years ... Senior Class Vice-President ... Member of National Honor Society ... Member of Mu Alpha Theta ... Member of the Science National Honor Society ... Spent three years on the Super Honor Roll at North Springs Charter High School ... Founded Operation Smiles ... 21st Century Leaders President ... Represented the United States twice at the International Science Fair, earning silver medals both times ... Won top prize at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and collected total of 14 special awards there ... National winner at the BioGENEius Competition ... Named Georgia's 20 under 20 for Community Service.



    Personal: Born Julia Beth Abelsky ... Daughter of Inna and Ilya Abelsky ... First generation American ... Involved with the same fencing club as current NU fencer Chloe Grainger ... Attended the same high school as Usher and Raven Simone ... Chose Northwestern over Columbia, Stanford, Brown, Cornell, North Carolina and Brandeis ... Anticipated major is Material Science Engineering.

    Christina Allen
    Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North

    High School: Attended Council Rock North in Newtown, PA ... Earned a First-Team USA Fencing All-Academic award ... Named to the United States Fencing Association's First-Team ... Finished in the top 32 at the 2012 Junior Olympics ... Captured a silver medal at the U-20 Championships ... Finished in the top 16 at the 2011 North American Cup ... Earned 10th place at the 2011 Division II National Championships ... Competed for Empire United Fencing for the past three years ... Was a 2012 National Merit Program Recognition Qualifier ... Member of National Honor Society ... Involved in French Honor Society and Social Studies Honor Society ... Named an AP Scholar.

    Personal: Born Christina Marie Allen ... Daughter of Walker and Jill Allen ... Trained with NU freshman Helen Foster ... Competed against current Wildcats Juliana Barrett, Courtney Dumas, Haley Hart, Olivia Lim and Kaitlyn Wallace ... Chose Northwestern over Cornell and Johns Hopkins ... Anticipated major is Economics.

    Mandeep Bhinder
    Newburgh, N.Y./Newburgh Free Academy

    High School: Attended Newburgh High School in Newburgh, New York ... Competed for the New York Athletic Club for 8 years ... Was first in the nation in the Y-14 category as a 14-year-old ... Junior and Senior Sectional Champion ... Member of National Honor Society ... Member of Science Honor Society ... Member of Italian Honor Society ... Also ran track in high school.

    Personal: Born Mandeep Kaur Bhinder...Daughter of Ranjit and Sarbjeet Bhinder...Competed against current Wildcats Courtney Dumas, Dina Bazarbayeva, Kaitlyn Wallace, Haley Hart, Sonali Patel, and fellow newcomer Eva Niklinska in high school...Chose Northwestern over Notre Dame...Anticipated major is Psychology.

    Stephanie Chan
    Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista

    High School: Attended Monta Vista High School ... Competed for Golden Gate Fencing Center since 2010 ... Earned first place with Junior Team Women's Foil at 2011 Summer North American Cup.

    Personal: Born Stephanie Yukar Chan ... Daughter of Sin-Yuet (Shirley) Chen and Chung-Suen (Stephen) Chan ... Anticipated major is undecided.

    Kimmy Fishman
    Ardsley, N.Y./Ardsley

    High School: Undefeated in five years of varsity competition at Ardsley High School ... Captained foil team to a league championship as a senior ... Earned All-League status in each of the five years of competition ... Named team MVP during junior and senior seasons ... Member of the Fencing Academy of Westchester since 2004 ... Captured fifth place at the North American Fencing Cup, level C, in the Division II section in 2011 ... Placed in the top 64 at the North American Cup, level B, in 2012 ... Placed on the school's academic honor roll each quarter throughout high school ... Member of the National Honor Society ... Member of the National Spanish Language Honor Society ... Was an All-State selection in Chorus ... Publicity Director of the senior class.

    Personal: Born Kimberly Rose Fishman ... Daughter of Charles and Nancy Fishman ... Sister, Alexa, is a four-year varsity fencer at Harvard ... Attended the same high school as singer Jesse McCartney ... Fenced against most of the NU foil team at various national competitions ... Chose Northwestern over Cornell, Duke and Johns Hopkins ... Anticipated major is Radio, Television and Film.

    Alisha Gomez-Shah
    Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills

    High School: Attended Wayne Hills H.S. in Wayne, N.J. ... Took third place in sabre at the state individual championship ... Two-time First Team All-State selection ... 2011-12 District 3 champion ... Posted a two-year combined record of 69-3 ... Team captain ... Participated with the Bergen Fencing Club for seven years ... Placed first in Division I teams at the North American Cup in April 2012 ... Also claimed the gold medal in senior teams at Summer Nationals in Reno in July 2011 ... National Honor Society member.

    Personal: Born Alisha Maya Gomez-Shah in Mexico City ... Daughter of Ruben Gomez and Arti Shah ... Fenced against classmates Julia Abelsky and Anna Parzecki ... Chose Northwestern over Duke ... Anticipated major is biology.

    Alex Kain
    Woodbridge, Conn./Sage Hill

    High School: Attended Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, Calif. ... Member of the South Coast Fencing Center for five years ... Named the Orange Coast Division Women's Foilist of the Year in 2011 ... Won the championship of the SoCal Scholastic League Women's Individual Foil in 2011 ... Named to the High Honor Roll all four years at Sage Hill High School in Newport Coast, CA ... Co-Class President for three years ... Class secretary during Junior year ... Co-published two research papers as an intern at the University of California-Irvine's Center for Stress and Health and the Yale Child Study Center.

    Personal: Born Alexandra Sarah Kain ... Daughter of Drs. Zeev and Tatiana Kain ... Chose Northwestern over Vassar, UC-San Diego and Brandeis ... Anticipated major is undecided.

    Kayla Kelch
    Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia

    High School: Attended Caledonia High School ... Placed in the top six at the 2011 Remenyik Open ... Received a gold medal in 2010 and 2012 as a Great Lakes Conference High School Champion ... Received the silver medal in 2011 at the Great Lakes Conference High School Championship ... Placed in the top six at the Division II North American Cup in Cincinnati in March 2012 ... Placed in the top five in ROC Baltimore ... Competed for the WMFA Club Team for 3 years...Competed for the GRAFA club team for 1 year ...National Honor Society member ... Honor Roll student.

    Personal: Born Kayla Nichole Kelch ... Daughter of Rick and Debra Kelch ... Competed against current Wildcats Mikela Goldstein, Dayana Sarkisova, Mary Spohn, Tina Umanskiy, and Sally Park ... Chose Northwestern over Princeton ... Anticipated major is Biological Science (Pre-Dentistry).

    Eva Niklinska
    Granger, Ind./Penn

    High School: Attended Penn High School ... Competed for Escrime Du Lac (Indiana Fencing Academy) since 2004 ... Clinched 10th place in Y14 Epee and 12th place Cadet in Women's Epee at Summer Nationals in 2009 ... Placed in the top 32 in Y14 Women's Epee in 2010 Summer Nationals...Won gold medal in women's epée at 2010 USFA Burton Open ... Earned bronze medal at 2011 North American Cup ... Finished ninth in women's epée and second place on Junior Team at 2011 Summer Nationals ... Won second place in 2011 National High School Championships ... Student Council President and Class President ... National Honor Society member ... Principal's Honor Roll recipient ... National Merit Semifinalist.

    Personal: Born Eva Barbara Niklinksa ... Daughter of Barbara Niklinska and Waldemar Niklinski ... Sister Joanna Niklinska also competed for Northwestern in epee from 2006-10 ... Founder of service organization for Saint Joseph Hospital of Mishawaka, Indiana called Handwritten Hearts.

    Ania Parzecki
    Upper Saddle River, N.J./Northern Highlands

    High School: Attended Northern Highlands H.S. ... Three-time district sabre squad and overall team champion entering 2012-13 campaign ... Helped team capture 2011 New Jersey State Championship ... Two-time Big North Conference All-Division First Team selection ... 2012 All-North Jersey Girls Fencing Second Team honoree ... Competes with the Bergen Fencing Club ... Placed first in the New Jersey Senior Cup for the 2010-11 season ... Took second place at the Division II 2011 Summer Nationals ... National Honor Society member ... Was honorable mention in Hollins University's Nancy Thorpe Poetry contest ... Part of the National Merit Scholarship program.

    Personal: Born Anna Parzecki ... Daughter of Joanna and Hubert Parzecki ... High school teammate of Jen Yamin ... Also competed with Alisha Gomez-Shah and Kate Sachs ... Anticipated major is undecided.

    Stella Pointeau
    Le Vesinet, France/Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

    High School: Attended Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye School outside of Paris, France ... Five-time French National Championship medalist ... Captured first place at the Junior French National Championship in 2012 ... Co-Champion at Cadettes French National Championship in 2010 ... Recipient of the regional "Top Athlete Award" nine times ... Is a certified foil referee ... 11-year member of the club team Fleuret 78 ... Grouped with top fencers in France to compete ... Achieved the honor roll every trimester of high school ... Selected by school to participate in the Global Citizenship Project in India ... Received special recognition from school's director for combining academic and athletic excellence.

    Personal: Born Stella Jin Pointeau ... Daughter of Bertrand Pointeau and Sonia Lee ... Identifies as French, Korean and American ... Dual Citizenship in France and the United States ... Foilist Brice Guyart, a 2004 Olympic Champion, is from the same town and school ... Attended same fencing camp with NU freshman Helen Foster and new signee Christina Allen ... Anticipated major is Environmental Studies.

    Kate Sachs
    Greenwich, Conn./Rye Country Day

    High School: Attended Rye Country Day School in Rye, N.Y. ... Competed for the Bergen Fencing Club for three years ... Gold Medalist Fencing Master Qualifier ... Bronze Medalist at the Division II North American Cup ... Silver Medalist Senior Women's Saber National Team ... National Merit Commended Scholar ... USFA All-American Team 2010-12.

    Personal: Born Katherine Davis Sachs ... Daughter of Morris and Sheryl Sachs ... Sisters Elisabeth and Madeline were both on the Northwestern Varsity Fencing team ... Anticipated majors are Economics and Psychology.


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