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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Heading into this weekend's competition, the Nittany Lions look to defend their title as national champions and capture a back to back national championship win coming off of last year's victory. Penn State will be searching for its 14th National Championship, and its fourth in the last seven years.
The championship will be held from March 19th through the 22nd at Ohio State University. The NCAA Men's and Women's Fencing Committee selected 144 competitors to participate in the 2015 National Collegiate Men's and Women's Fencing Championships.
Eleven Penn State fencers have been selected to compete in the championship, six fencers for the men's team and five for the women. The maximum from each school in the championship is twelve fencers. Two fencers from Penn State were chosen as institutional alternatives.
Competing for the men include last year's NCAA men's saber champion, junior Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.), senior David Gomez-Tanamachi (Mexico City, Mexico), junior Nobuo Bravo (San Francisco, Calif.), sophomores Conor Shepard (Colleyville, Texas) and Oskar Tang (Stockholm, Sweden) and freshman Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.).
Competing for the women include senior Alina Antokhina (Moscow, Russia), junior Clarisse Luminet (Lyon, France), sophomores Teodora Kakhiani (Tbilisi, Georgia) and Jessie Radanovich (Fresno, Calif.), and freshman Karen Chang (Hong Kong) The alternates for the weekend are freshmen Khalil Thompson (Teaneck, N.J.) and Kathryn Charpin (Setauket, N.Y.).
As per the NCAA.com release, fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round robin, the top-four finishers within each weapon will fence in semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the non-advancing fencers being awarded a tie for third place.
Results from the upcoming weekend's championship will be posted here on gopsusports.com as the competition takes place. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State Fencing via Twitter www.twitter.com/pennstateFEN and on Penn State Fencing's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatefencing.