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OSU Fencer trains for Olympics

After winning the NCAA National Fencing Championships twice, being named a First-Team All-American three times and being awarded the Ohio State Athlete of the Year for 2007-08, fencer Andras Horanyi has one thing left to accomplish: compete in the Olympics.


Horanyi finished second in the last U.S. Olympic Trials, barely missing a qualifying bid for the 2008 Olympics. 


Horanyi, who ended his last year of NCAA eligibility in 2009, hopes to qualify for the next Summer Olympic Games in 2012. He continues to condition and practice with the OSU team in the offseason to help keep him in shape for the upcoming Olympic Trials.


“[Andras] is a really good person,” said Gia Abashidze, the OSU fencing team assistant coach during Horanyi’s time on the OSU team. “Good fencer too, of course.”


Horanyi, who is from Boulder, Colo., has been heavily involved in foil fencing, a style of fencing where he can only get points (called touches) in a match if he hits his opponent in the torso area with the tip of his thin, light, and springy weapon — the foil. 


He first became interested in the sport when he came across a fencing booth at a Boulder festival. He thought it seemed interesting, so he signed up for an upcoming fencing summer camp. 


From there, Horanyi was hooked. He joined the local club team Northern Colorado Fencers in the summer of 1997. As a member, he competed in many tournaments, including the 2005 World Cup. He won the North American Cup that same year in Alberque, N.M. He also helped lead the team to three Junior Division National Championships.  


When it was time to decide on a college, Horanyi knew he wanted to go somewhere with a good fencing program.  


“Ohio State has really strong coaches and a strong fencing program. Also, [the] business program is really good, so I get the best of both worlds,” said Horanyi, a student in marketing and logistics. 


Horanyi enrolled at OSU in 2005 and became a dominant member of the OSU fencing team. Horanyi joined the team “as one of the most heralded recruits in program history,” according to the team’s Web site.  


He was undefeated his freshman year in the regular season and placed second at the NCAA National Championships, which led to his First-Team All-American honors. His sophomore year he went 45-3 during the regular season, the highest on the men’s team, and won the 2006-07 National Title in men’s individual foil. During his junior year, he won the gold medal in men’s individual foil at the 2007 Pan-American games. 


During his senior year, Horanyi placed third in the U.S. National Championships. He finished his NCAA career with more than 120 regular season wins and only 11 losses.   


Horanyi will graduate from OSU this year. Competing in the Olympics is Horanyi’s final fencing goal and he plans to end his career after the trials, whether he makes it or not. 


He has been talking with notable fencing coaches in Dallas and New York City who can assist him in his training for the Trials.  


In Horanyi’s four years as a NCAA fencer, he has practiced five days a week and traveled all over the country and world for tournaments during the winter fencing season. In addition to his rigorous training, Horanyi has been looking even farther into the future and planning his career after fencing.


“I have other aspirations besides fencing,” he said. “I want to open a coffee shop.”


Horanyi said he wants to open his coffee shop with his younger brother, Balazes, somewhere in the mountains, possibly back in Boulder. They hope to also sell winter sporting goods, like skis and snowboards, at the shop.


“It’d be fun to just chill the whole day,” Horanyi said.

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