SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Pioneer foil duo of Andrew and Stuart Holmes participated in the 2013 NCAA Fencing Championships in San Antonio Thursday and Friday, finishing 13th and 14th respectively.
The men's foil at the NCAAs this season has been described as the toughest weapon competition in the history of the NCAAs, with four Olympians (Gerrick Meinhardt, Alex Massialas, Miles Chamley-Watson and Zain Shaito) and three former NCAA champions (Meinhardt, Shaito and Ariel DeSmet) in the field of 24. At the conclusion of the event, sophomore Andrew Holmes was 10-13 and placed 13th, just missing 12th and third team All-American honors. Stuart Holmes was 9-14 and placed 14th. The 19 wins earned Sacred Heart 13th place in the men's competition. This is the highest finish ever for SHU in this event (the combination of Justin Dion and Marty Williams finished 14th in 2011).
"I am extremely proud of how well Stuart and Andrew fenced", said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "The field in foil was so strong, there just was never an easy opportunity for a win. Andrew had some amazing victories, including wins over DeSmet of Notre Dame and Shaito of Ohio State. He just fell short of making All-American as a sophomore. Only Justin Dion has done this well as a sophomore in the past for us at the Championships. Stuart fought hard the entire way and lost several crucial 5-4 bouts that would have gotten him to the All-American ranks. His strong finish on the second day propelled us to our 13th place finish. This was a great finish to the season for both athletes."
In addition to these results, Stuart Holmes was the Northeast Fencing Conference Men's Fencer of the Year with his 28-0 record in league play. He was also a first team All-Conference selection and the 2012 BIG ONE Collegiate Fencing Tournament foil champion. Andrew was a 2013 All NFC first team selection and placed third at the BIG ONE Tournament. The Holmes brothers, along with Jonathan Jacovino, placed second at the National Collegiate Squad Championships.