Four Penn State Women's Fencers Excel at U.S. Olympic Trial/NAC Open
SAN JOSE, Calif., January 19, 2004 - Four of the Penn State women's fencing team's premier athletes posted impressive performances at the second half of the U.S. Olympic Trial/North American Cup Open this past weekend at the Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Defending women's epee National Champion Katarzyna Trzopek (Warsaw, Poland) led the way for Penn State, notching a very solid fifth-place finish in the open women's epee. She battled an extremely competitive field of 91 athletes to earn a trip to the finals and the eventual top-eight finish.
Freshman Case Szarwark (Nashville, Tenn.) also participated in the women's epee, competing in both the junior and open women's epee tournaments. She posted similarly strong results in both events, claiming 18th place in the junior event and 19th place in the open draw.
Another of Penn State's standout freshmen, Sophia Hiss (Oklahoma City, Okla.), recorded excellent finishes in the junior and open women's foil competitions. In the junior draw, Hiss earned a 13th-place finish against a field of 97 entrants. In the open event, she grabbed 24th place to narrowly edge out teammate Meredith Chin (Wynnewood, Pa.), who had an effective outing of her own with a 26th-place finish.
Two of Penn State's recent alumni also competed exceptionally well at the national event. In the women's epee open draw, Stephanie Eim took the Silver Medal, while Jessica Burke also reached the finals with an eighth-place finish.
All of the aforementioned athletes scored valuable points toward selection to the U.S. National Team, as all finishes within the top 32 of each weapon earned points.
The first half of the U.S. Olympic Trial/NAC Open was held from Jan. 10-12 at the same venue. That weekend, Penn State's Ian Farr (Portland, Ore.) finished in ninth place in the junior draw of the men's saber. Marten Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) picked up a 25th-place finish in the open draw of the men's saber to score points as well.
The Penn State men's and women's fencing teams will get back to dual meet action this weekend as the hosts of their second dual meet of the season. They will entertain Duke, North Carolina, Penn, Haverford, St. John's and Hunter College on Jan. 24 in the White Building, with action set to begin at 9 a.m.