Fencing team finished 12th at NCAA Fencing Championships; French earned All-American
The Air Force Academy fencing team put the cap on what is currently the program's most successful season. At the conclusion of the 2010 NCAA Men's and Women's Fencing Championships at Harvard University, Air Force took 12th place and senior Peter French (Austin, Texas) earned his third NCAA All-American title. Sophomore Simone Barrette (Louisville, Ky.) finished ninth and had the school's highest NCAA individual finish ever for an Air Force woman fencer. For her accomplishment, Barrette received All-American honors.
In the men's championships, the three men representing Air Force, French, junior Daniel Trapani (Houston, Texas) and junior Nick Stockdale (Lansdowne, Pa.) amassed 31 team points to bring Air Force to its final 12th-place finish. In the last seven years in the NCAA, 12th place is the highest finish for the Academy's fencing program.
During the finals, French was the No. 11 seed in men's epee, and advanced through the semifinals with a 15-4 win against Nick Chinman from Penn State. In the championship bout, French went up against Marat Israelian from St. John's University. French had the lead through the top half of the bout until a double-touch opened the way for Israelian. However, French never let the lead go higher than two points, but it was not enough and Israelian won the bout, 14-10. French ended with a 16-8 record and .696 percent of his bouts won. He ends his Academy career as a three-time men's epee NCAA All-American. French is the school's second all-time NCAA top finisher since Seth Kelsey was the epee national champion in 2003. French's career record is 182-57.
Trapani, in men's epee, finished 22nd with seven victories and .304 bouts won. He had a 7-16 record. In foil, Stockdale finished in 20th place with an 8-15 record and .348 bouts won. In their careers, this was Stockdale's first appearance at the NCAA Fencing Championships. Trapani competed in 2008 and 2009.
With the conclusion of the 2010 regular season, it was the first time since 2005 that two women fencers, Barrette and freshman Heather Nelson (Clifton Park, NY), represented the Falcons at the NCAA Fencing Championships. Barrette finished in ninth place in epee with a 13-10 record and had the Falcons' highest NCAA individual finish ever in women's fencing. Her career record has improved to 83-44. For her accomplishment, Barrette received All-American honors. She is currently the second woman fencer to earn this honor.
In saber, Nelson finished in 18th place with an 8-15 record, it was her first appearance at the NCAAs. In the women's championships, the Falcons amassed 21 team points and tied for 12th place with Stanford University.
"Our fencers did very well this weekend at the NCAAs," said head coach Abdel Salem. "Peter fought hard against his opponents, advanced to the championship bout and went up against his opponent from St. John's. It was good to see him finish as an All-American. Simone fenced in a heavily competitive arena and moved up the ranks from 15th on the first day to ninth place the next day and earned All-American honors."
The 2010 NCAA championship team title went to Penn State with 191 points. St. John's was second with 182 points followed by Notre Dame with 180 team points.
NCAA Final Results: