NYU fencing, wrestling teams see success over break

via NYUAthletics

While many NYU students were enjoying their spring recess, NYU athletes were hard at work.

Last night, 10 members of the men’s fencing team competed at the NCAA DIII Tournament at Ohio University in Columbus, Ohio to close out their 2013-2014 season. With two fencers ranking in the top 25 overall, the tournament was a glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Captain and CAS senior Christian Vastola was NYU’s star. He earned a 22nd place finish overall after winning seven of his foil bouts.

LS sophomore Andrew Kelly, who came into the tournament with a 35-12 record, earned 24th place overall with five total wins, competing exclusively in sabre.

Uptown New York rivals St. John’s University had two of their fencers on top, in foil and sabre.

The men finished the season with a .350 winning percentage, 7–13 overall, only receiving two team wins consecutively this season in early February.

via NYUAthletics

Men’s wrestling had an excellent showing at the NCAA championship thanks to captain and CAS junior Brandon Jones, who placed third in the 141-pound weight class.

He defeated opponents from Mount St. Joseph, Wisconsin Eau Clair and Johnson & Wales before losing to University of Chicago’s Charlie Banaszak, who Jones had defeated a day earlier at the UAA championship.

Jones’ finish puts him in the books with two historic NYU greats, Mat McLenahan and Stephen Hult. McLenahan and Hult finished third in their NCAA efforts in 1992 and 2008, respectively.

This result also earned Jones his second All-American honor after being awarded UAA Athlete of the Week after his performance at the tournament on March 17.

Jones had an outstanding season, ranking second in his weight class by the National Wrestling Coaches Association earlier this month. This award is only one of many honors he has earned this season.

On March 20, NYU Athletics was ranked 25th of 444 DIII schools in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup winter standings.

Of the Violet’s 220 points in the competition, 42.5 were gained by Jones with his strong showing at the NCAA Championship. Men’s and women’s swimming and diving, as well as women’s basketball, can still earn points for NYU in some upcoming fixtures before April 3, when the final rankings are released.

Williams College, of the NESCAC conference, was ranked first. Of NYU’s UAA rivals, only Emory University, University of Chicago and University of Washington, St. Louis are ranked higher: 16, 8 and 6, respectively.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 24 edition. Francisco Navas is sports editor. Email him at fnavas@nyunews.com.

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