QUEENS, N.Y. - The Sacred Heart men's fencing team traveled to St. John's University in New York City for the NCAA Northeast Regional Fencing Championships on Sunday. The brother foil duo of senior team captain Stuart Holmes and sophomore Andrew Holmes placed eight and tenth respectively in the competition.
Their finishes, coupled with their fifth and 13th place finishes for their dual match records in the region earned each of them one of the nine qualifying spots that the region gets for the NCAA Championship. This year will be the first time that Sacred Heart has qualified the maximum two fencers for an individual weapon. In addition to the Holmes' brothers, Jonathan Jacovino placed 19th and Alexander Harwood 21st. In epee, senior Michael Fenech made the final round and placed 11th. He fell two spots short of qualifying for the championship competition. Also in epee, Jeremiah German was 14th, Kevin Almerini 19th and Khristopher White 22nd. In the saber competition, Ryan O'Halloran was 18th and Thomas Gerrity 19th.
"Stuart and Andrew Holmes did a fantastic job today", said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "This tournament is a marathon event where the goal is survival. They both were awesome in the crucial semifinal round, where Stuart was 6-0 and Andrew went 5-1 (only loss was to his brother). Despite suffering from leg cramps, they both fought very hard in the 12-man final and did what they had to do to qualify. It is great that they both qualified the same year." Stuart qualified for the NCAA Championship last season where he placed 22nd.
Stuart and Andrew Holmes will be in competition at the NCAA Fencing Championship on March 28-29 in San Antonio, Texas.