D.C. fencers place at NCAA championships

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Amanda Sirico, a Bowie native and a member of the D.C. Fencers Club, won the NCAA fencing championship with Notre Dame on March 25. Sirico finished in a third-place tie in the women's epee and was named a First Team All-American. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Sirico)
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The D.C. Fencers Club recently saluted Amanda Sirico (Bowie, MD) and Isaac Shelanski (Washington, D.C.), who both earned individual bronze medals at the 2018 National Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Fencing Championships.

The championships were held at Pennsylvania State University on March 22 through 25 in which Sirico and Shelanski were two of 144 fencers who were selected to compete.

Sirico, a junior at the University of Notre Dame, finished in a third-place tie (women’s epee) for the second consecutive season and earned her second First Team All-America placement. Sirico’s achievements helped Notre Dame win its 10th NCAA title on Sunday, and back-to-back titles for the first time in 40 years. Columbia took second place, while Ohio State took third.

Sirico’s recent results include a bronze medal with Team Epee (USA) at the Barcelona World Cup in February and a silver medal in the Division I Women’s Epee in October in the North American Cup in Anaheim, Calif. She was also the 2015 Junior National Champion, along with being a Junior World Team member in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Shelanski, a sophomore at Yale University, also placed in the top four in the men’s epee event. In the semifinal match up, Shelanski faced Sean White from St. John’s University, who won 15-13.

Among Shelanski’s national and international results, he took first place at the Helsinki Cadet World Circuit in 2015 and was the 2013 Y-14 National Champion.

The NCAA Fencing Championships include individual men’s and women’s events in epee, foil and sabre. Fencers compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. The top four finishers in each weapon then fence in 15-touch bouts to determine the gold, silver and bronze-tie medalists. The overall championship is determined by cumulative points from the men’s and women’s individual results in the foil, sabre and epee events.

Sirico and Shelanski are both members of D.C. Fencers Club, where they train with Head Coach Janusz Smolenski. For 28 years, Smolenski has coached many fencers to top results at the U.S. National Championships, North American Cups and international events.

Isaac Shelanski, a sophomore at Yale and a member of the D.C. Fencers Club, placed fourth in the men’s epee at the NCAA championships last weekend. (Photo courtesy of Camille Simmons Photography)