COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Penn State men's and women's fencing finished fifth in the nation at the 2012 National Championships. Penn State ended the championships with 151 team points, including strong performances from Men's Saber, Women's Saber, and Women's Epee. Ohio State won the National Championship with 182 points. The Buckeyes were followed by Princeton with 161 points, Notre Dame with 160 points, and St. John's with 158 points.
Penn State ended the championships with a National Champion, four medalists, five All-Americans, and three Honorable Mention All-Americans.
Aleksander Ochocki (Clark, N.J.) defeated Harvard's Valentin Staller 15-11 in the gold medal match to win his second National Championship in Men's Saber. Ochocki also won the title in 2009. The senior ends his stellar career a two-time National Champion and a four-time All-American. Ochocki entered the medal round as the No. 2 seed after defeating 17 of his 23 opponents in the first seven rounds. He defeated Princeton's Philip Dershwitz 15-12 in the semifinals to set up his National Championship match.
Also impressive in the Men's Saber was Adrian Bak (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) who finished sixth to claim All-American status for the second time in his career. Bak improved on his seventh place finish in 2011. The sophomore won 14 bouts through the round robin portion.
Freshman Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi (Mexico City, Mexico) was named an Honorable Mention All-American after placing 10th in Men's Foil. Gomez-Tanamachi defeated 13 of his opponents.
Penn State placed eight fencers in the top 10 of their events. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Princeton, and St. John's also had eight fencers in the top 10 of their events.
For the women's team, Monica Aksamit (Matawan, N.J.) and Margherita Guzzi Vincenti (Milan, Italy) each claimed runner-up in their events, while Alina Antokhina (Moscow, Russia) took third place in the Women's Foil.
Women's Saber completed a strong championship effort with 32 points, the most of any team in the event. Monica Aksamit was defeated 15-12 in the gold medal match by Duke's Rebecca Ward. As a result, Aksamit took runner-up in the event and claimed her third All-American status. Askamit won 19 of her 22 bouts to claim the No. 2 seed heading into the medal round. Aksamit defeated St. John's Anna Limbach in the semifinals 15-8 to earn a spot in the medal match.
Nicole Glon (State College, Pa.) defeated 13 opponents to finish in ninth place and was named an Honorable Mention All-American. Penn State was the only school to place two fencers in the top 10 of the Women's Saber event.
Alina Antokhina claimed the No. 2 seed in the medal round of the Women's Foil after winning 18 of 23 bouts. Antokhina lost a 15-9 decision in the semifinals to the eventual National Champion, St. John's Evgeniya Kirpicheva. Alina finished in third place to claim her first All-American status.
Margherita Guzzi Vincenti earned runner-up in the Women's Saber, losing a tough 15-14 gold medal match to Ohio State's Katarzyna Dabrowa. Guzzi Vincenti defeated 19 of her 23 opponents to take the No. 1 seed going into the medal round. Margherita defeated Northwestern's Kate Cavanaugh 15-7 in the semifinal bout to reach the final. Guzzi Vincenti, a junior, is now a three-time All-American and has placed in the top three in each of her three years.
Also competing in the Women's Saber was Oksana Samorodov (San Antonio, TX), who placed 10th to be named an Honorable Mention All-American. Samorodov won 12 bouts, including 5 of 9 in rounds 5-7.
Penn State was the only school to place five fencers in the top 10 of their events.