By Georgetta L. Morque
After four thrilling years of fencing for Notre Dame, Jonah Shainberg is finishing his college career as an NCAA team champion for the second consecutive year, a four-time All-American — the 26th in the program’s history — a two-time ACC Champion, and all–time wins leader in Men’s sabre.
Shainberg’s climactic senior year culminated in Greensboro, N.C., in February with his dramatic win in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Championship over reigning champion Pascual Di Tella of Duke. With his Duke opponent ahead 13-12, Shainberg scored three of the last five touches to claim a 15-14 victory. It was his second ACC Championship win, having also clinched the title as a sophomore. Jubilant Fighting Irish teammates and fans were captured by ESPN 3, which covered the two-day event and conducted an extensive interview with Shainberg.
In March, in State College, Pa, Notre Dame Fencing won its second straight NCAA Championship, the university’s 10th national fencing title, which gave the school back-to-back titles for the first time in 40 years. Shainberg, who took fifth place in sabre, finishing the weekend 16-7, was one of five men named All-American. “We really rallied together as a team over the past two years,” said Shainberg, who is still trying to process that his college run is now over but couldn’t be happier about how it ended.
“I’m really humbled to be part of this team,” said Shainberg, who feels grateful for the support from so many. In a team video, he talks about the bond of the team members, their ambitious goals, and strong work ethic. “Even though fencing is an individual sport, we are one team with one heartbeat, that’s our mantra.”
Shainberg, a member of the Rye High School class of 2014, started fencing as an 8-year-old because he enjoyed watching sword fighting in the movies. The sport soon became his passion and his talents took him to competitions all over the globe.
Next month, he will graduate from Notre Dame with a degree from the Mendoza College of Business, but he’s not putting his sword down just yet. Motivated by his teammates and with the support of his family and coaches, Shainberg will pursue another goal — the Olympic Games. He’s already starting to prepare for Tokyo 2020. Stay tuned.
- Photo courtesy of Notre Dame