image_handler.jpgColumbus, Ohio – No. 5 Northwestern capped off an impressive weekend by taking home first place at the Midwest Conference Championships in Columbus, Ohio, beating out the host Buckeyes for the program's first conference title since 2001.


The Wildcats topped No. 6 Ohio State 785-780 in the final team standings thanks to first place finishes from the epee and saber squads and a third place finish from the foil. The championship is head coach Laurie Schiller's fourth overall and continues his 22-year run of top-three finishes.


Both the epee and saber squads defeated Ohio State 5-3 in the final to win their 16-team brackets while the foil group defeated Chicago 5-0 in the bracket's third place match. The foil squad boasts a 34-12 record, while the saber squad is a similarly impressive 35-10. This year's epee team has posted a dominant 45-3 record.


In addition to the team success, the Wildcats excelled in the individual tournaments. In the epee bracket, Courtney Dumas, Juliana Barrett, and Mandeep Bhinder swept the top three spots in that order. Helen Foster captured fifth and Anna Tolley finished eighth. Dumas secured her first Midwest Conference title, and her record this season is an astounding 77-12.


Alisha Gomez-Shah won the gold medal in the saber bracket, while Cindy Oh took home the silver. Sacha Bazzal also had an eighth place finish. Gomez-Shah's first Midwest Conference title added onto her 46-11 record this year.


In foil, Yvonne Chart tied for a third place finish and Stephanie Chan finished sixth. Chart's bronze medal came in her first-ever conference competition.


At the tournament, the MFC named its all-conference honors based on order of finishes in the individual tournament. First through fourth place was first-team all-conference, fifth through eighth was second-team, and ninth through twelfth earned honorable mention. In addition to the fencers named above, Ella Lombard, Katie Van Riper, Mikela Goldstein, Stefani Kahookele, Kimmy Fishman, Julia Abelsky, and Anna Parzecki all captured honorable mentions in their weapon groups.


The Wildcats' remarkable season will continue on March 12, at the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.


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