The Carleton Ravens are looking to repeat as champions this weekend when the OUA Men's Fencing Championships begin on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont.
Several key pieces are returning from last year's championship-winning squad, including 2014 OUA all-stars Zachary Zanussi, Joe Wright, Philip McCully, and Alexandre Salat.
McCully won a gold medal in foil at last year's OUA Championships, and helped the Ravens to a team gold in the event at the Carleton Invitational this season. Geoffrey Devaney of Carleton is also highly skilled in foil, taking home a gold medal at the Queen's Open earlier in the season.
Zanussi won silver in epee at last year's OUA Championships, and also won silver at the Queen's Open this season. As a team this season, Carleton won gold in epee and foil at the RMC Invitational, and gold and bronze in epee and foil at the Queen's Open. Last year at the OUA Championships, the Ravens also won team gold in the two events.
The Queen's Gaels finished in second spot behind Carleton at last year's OUA Championships, and are hoping to find their way back to the top of the podium after winning three consecutive titles from 2011-2013.
It will be tough for the Gaels, who have lost Richard Ishac and Will Tran, two all-stars from last year. In the 2014-15 season, Queen's has found most of its success in foil, winning bronze at the Queen's Open, Carleton Invitational and RMC Invitational. The Gaels placed fourth in sabre at the Carleton Invitational. Queen's the only team to medal at all three team events at last year's OUA Championships, winning silver in sabre and bronze in epee and foil. Gavin Crowder is the team's top competitor in epee, while Tristan Samis leads the team in foil.
The Toronto Varsity Blues finished third at last year's OUA Championships and are hoping to build on that success this weekend.
The Blues won gold in sabre last year and added a silver medal in foil. First-year fencer William Kinney won bronze in sabre at the Brock Open this season, and is hoping to contribute in his first OUA Championship. James Hotti is the team's top fencer in foil.
Benjamin Samson is a medal hopeful for the Ryerson Rams; he finished first in sabre at the Newmarket OCC, and tied for third at the Western Open this season. Shawn Gaviola is also one of the team's top competitors in sabre, while Abdou Abdelrahman leads the way in foil.
The RMC Paladins are looking to ride a successful regular season into championship weekend and capture the men's title for the first time since 2008. The team won bronze in sabre at the Carleton Invitational and also won silver in sabre and epee when they hosted the RMC Invitational. Oliver Fenske is a medal hopeful in foil, while David Dyck is the team's best at sabre.
The Ottawa Gee-Gees finished ninth at last year's OUA Championships, but seem poised for an improvement this year. The team finished third in foil at the RMC Invitational and were led by Brad Bermingham and Nicholas Wagman in that competition.
The Western Mustangs, Brock Badgers, and McMaster Marauders round out the competition.
Western finished fifth at last year's OUA Championships, and are hoping for a strong performance from Ali Alnakeeb, who finished second in sabre at the Western Open. The Mustangs also captured a bronze in the sabre at last year's conference championships.
The host Badgers finished seventh at last year's competition and are hoping to improve on that at home this year, while the Marauders finished behind Brock in eighth spot in the 2014 competition.
The OUA Men's Fencing Championships begin with the individual events starting Saturday, Feb. 21 at 10:30 a.m., while the team relay events take place the following day beginning at 9 a.m. The entire competition is taking place at Beddis Gyms on the campus of Brock University.
Saturday February 21st 2015
09:00 am Weapons Check/Check In
10:00 am Coaches Meeting – Check in Closes
10:30 am Men's Foil Individual Starts
11:30 am Men's Epee Individual Starts
1:00 pm Men's Sabre Individual Starts
Sunday February 22nd 2015
Team Relay Events
08:00 am Weapons Check/Check In
08:30 am Coaches Meeting
09:00 am Men's Foil Team Relay Starts
10:30 am Men's Epee Relay Team Starts
11:30 am Men's Sabre Relay Team Starts
Medal and OUA banner presentations approximately between 3:00pm-4:00pm