Barr, Taqi Post Runner-Up Finishes in CSU’s Annual Event

Barr, Taqi Post Runner-Up Finishes in CSU’s Annual Event

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Fourteen student-athletes from the Cleveland State University fencing team competed as the program hosted the 10th annual John Szent-Kiraly Open Saturday inside Woodling Gymnasium.

Sophomore Ahmad Taqi and freshman Abigail Barr contributed the best performances by current Vikings at the event as each notched a runner-up finish. Taqi was second in the mixed foil discipline while Barr was second in the women's epee event.

Taqi won all six of his pool play matches and saw little difficultly in doing so. He posted a combined score of 30-7 in his pool bouts. Taqi won four straight bracket matches to advance to the final, claiming wins of 15-1, 15-5, 15-11 and 15-10. He came up just short in the championship bout, dropping a 15-11 decision.

Taqi's effort was part of a larger CSU performance that saw three Vikings among the top 10 in the event. Will Waters tied for third while John Wenger finished in eighth place.

Waters went 4-1 in pool bouts, with a 5-4 loss representing his only setback. After a 15-9 win in his opening bracket match, Waters engineered a thrilling, 15-14, upset of the fifth overall seed. He followed that up with a second straight upset, taking down the fourth seed, 15-7. HIs run came to an end with a 15-10 loss to the top seed.

Wenger finished atop his pool with a 5-1 record in which his only loss was a 5-4 decision. He used back-to-back, 15-10, wins to reach the quarterfinals before losing to the top seed, 15-11.

Barr went undefeated in her pool in the women's epee event to earn the top seed heading into the bracket match. She used a 15-7 win in her first bracket match and then survived an upset scare with a 15-14 win in the quarterfinals. Barr posted a 15-11 victory to reach the final, where she came up agonizingly short, dropping the title bout, 15-14.

Freshmen Brodee Bocek and Ian Wu were CSU's top-placing finishers in the mixed epee event, taking 12th and 20th, respectively. Bocek improved his stock dramatically during the day as he was seeded 31st entering the day.

Dante Centuori and Eric Hamdan led CSU in the mixed saber event, with both improving significantly on their seedings entering the day. Centuori finished 12th after being seeded 26th while Hamdan was one spot behind in 13th after being seeded 24th prior to the competition.

The event was the final one of the regular season for CSU. The Vikings will resume action on the final weekend of February at the Midwest Conference Championships, hosted by Ohio State.