Jan. 9, 2012 U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. - Jan. 9, 2012: On Saturday, Jan. 7, the Air Force fencing team competed in the first collegiate meet of the season, the Western Invitational. The Air Force men finished second (5-1), while the women's team had a respectful fourth place showing (3-3) against national champion Notre Dame, Northwestern, Caltech, Stanford, UC San Diego, University of Florida and Swarthmore College. Notre Dame took first place in the men's events, followed by Air Force and Stanford. Northwestern won the women's events, followed by Stanford and UC San Diego.

The following is a recap of the Air Force team and individual results from the Western Invitational:

Team results: The Air Force women's saber finished 4-2; epee (3-2); foil (2-4). The men were 4-2 in saber, 5-1 in epee, and 5-1 in foil. Against their opponents Air Force finished:

AF men vs. Caltech 25-2; UC San Diego 18-9; Swarthmore 25-3; Notre Dame 9-28; U. Florida 22-5; and Stanford 16-11. AF women vs. Northwestern 2-25; U. Florida 15-12; Stanford 9-18; UC San Diego 11-16; Swarthmore 19-8, and Caltech 16-2.

Air Force Top 10 finishers: The Air Force Academy men's and women's top 10 fencers in the Western Invitational (Jan. 7) were as follows:

Men's epee: Nathan Sorenson (12-6); Chase Houser (14-4) Men's saber: Emiliano Kaptain (12-6); Scott Pippin (9-5) Men's foil: Phil Choy (14-4); Alexander Chiang (17-1); Travis Dyson (10-5). Women's saber: Heather Nelson (15-3) Women's epee: Juli Nokleberg (10-5)

Student-athlete of the week: This week's Student-athlete of the week is Fr. Alexander Chiang, Atlanta, Ga. (Lakeside High School). Chiang finished 17-1 in men's foil bouts against his opponents in the Western Invitational, Jan. 7. His only loss came against his opponent from Notre Dame. Chiang's 17 wins helped the men's fencing team to a second-place finish. Air Force finished 5-1 with a loss against national champions, Notre Dame (9-18).

"Chiang fought hard this past weekend," said head coach Abdel Salem. "He demonstrated impressive skill and athleticism on the strip, which combined helped the men's foil team earn impressive wins against UC San Diego, Stanford and national powerhouse, Notre Dame."



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