Kamali Thompson Finishes Career as All-American, Leads Temple Fencing Team to a 10th Place Finish at NCAA Championships
Senior sabre Kamali Thompson

Kamali Thompson Finishes Career as All-American, Leads Temple Fencing Team to a 10th Place Finish at NCAA Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio -Senior Kamali Thompson placed sixth in the nation and was named a second team All-American in the women's sabre competition at the NCAA National Championships held at The Ohio State University last Friday. In pursuit of her All-American status, Thompson recorded victories over three of the top four finishers during the NCAA tournament, including a 5-4 victory over Duke's Becca Ward—the 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist and now three time NCAA Champion.

“It was really nice to be named an All-American,” Thompson said. “It was something I have been working for all four years that I've made it to nationals, so it means a lot and it's fitting that it happened in my last meet. I was disappointed last year when I knew I fenced well, but didn't get named an All-American, so being named an All-American this year really means a lot.”

Thompson, a Biology major and a native of Teaneck, N.J., became the first sabre All-American from Temple since Sakinah Shaahid placed 9th and Aziza Hassan placed 11th in 2003. 

Thompson's result also marks the third best NCAA finish by a Temple sabre fencer, behind Shaahid's fourth place finishes in 2001 and 2002.  Thompson finishes her time on Broad Street as the Temple all-time career leader in sabre victories with 185 wins.

“I feel that I was a pretty good fencer for a while,” Thompson said. “Having all these wins and now an All-American award solidifies that I was good. When I look back on my career here I know I will be proud of what I accomplished. One day when others look at my career, they'll see what I have done and know I was good and accomplished something.”

Joining Thompson at NCAA Nationals were junior Jillian Bratton, senior Alyssa Lomuscio, and junior Mikayla Varadi
In women's epee, Bratton, in this her first trip to the NCAA Championships, placed 16th overall. 

Competing in women's foil, Lomuscio, a 2011 All-American, also finished the tournament in 16th place in what was an extremely strong field.  Her appearance at nationals in 2012 marked Lomuscio's third trip to the NCAAs.  Varadi also competed in Women's foil and finished the two days of competition in 21st place.  As with Lomuscio, 2012 was Varadi's third time at the National Championships.

Temple fencers earned 40 victories to finish in 10th place amongst all women's teams. 
The NCAA consolidates men's and women's results into combined team standings to determine the ultimate Team Champion.  For 2012, the Combined Championship was won by Ohio State with Princeton placing second, Notre Dame third and St. John's (NY) finishing in fourth place.

"This was a good tournament for our team overall and for Kamali." assistant coach Bradley Baker said.  "Especially the way she finished, with her last bout a 5-4 victory over the eventual Sabre Champion, Duke's Becca Ward [2008 Olympic Bronze medalist and NCAA champion in 2009, 2011, 2012 and runner-up in 2010]." 

Head coach Nikki Franke commented by saying, “Each of our fencers competed well and I was proud of how they performed.  All their hard work throughout the year was very evident as they each competed against the top 24 fencers in the country.  Every year the competition gets stronger and stronger and we must continue to improve.  It is very demanding, both physically and emotionally to fence bout after bout for two days against the country's very best.  All four of our athletes did their best and clearly showed that they belonged in such an elite group of athletes.”

Temple Fencing finishes the year with an outstanding 24-8 record.  With four seniors graduating, the team returns 11 of its 15 athletes for the 2012-13 season, including NCAA qualifiers Bratton and Varadi.  The experience the two gained from competing at this year's Championships will definitely be beneficial next season as they lead the team in its efforts to continue to improve and be competitive against the nation's best fencing programs.
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