This year our club was represented by a team of 13 fencers and 2 coaches at the Junior & Cadet Fencing National Championships in Dallas, TX. Six girls: Sarah Gruman, Sandhya Nadadur, Lauren Rangel-Friedman, Anastasia Pineschi, Anastasia Ivanoff and Mila Wolpert; seven boys: Geoffrey Loss, Josiah Yiu, Alex Rey Palabrica, Michael Costin, Zac Strauss, Walker DuBois and Jake Zeiss; and of course, our coaches, Daniel Costin and Daniel Grigore. Everybody worked hard for months to prepare and qualify for this important tournament that happens only once a year.
February 18, the first day of the tournament, everybody fenced really well. Josiah, Alex Rey, Michael and Geoffrey got Junior National Points by placing in top 32. Geoffrey entered this championship with an even bigger challenge than his team mates: the events over the weekend would determine his qualification to the Fencing World Championships. Before Dallas he was placed number three on the saber cadet point list, but the two results combined from the junior and cadet events will decide who will be on the US cadet team. The formula is even more complicated taking into consideration the other athletes striving to be part of the national team, but Geoffrey was very determined, fenced his best and got defeated only in the gold bout, by Kaito Streets, from Sacramento, another contestant to the cadet national team.
February 19, was the day for the girls’ junior event. Our brave girls, Anastasia P, Anastasia I, Sarah, Lauren and Sandhya, fenced really well and two of them finished in top 32 gaining National Points as well. Sarah placed 18th and Anastasia Pineschi medaled by placing 5th. Another day to celebrate good fencing and great results!
February 20, was the day for the boys cadet event, a very important day for everybody: Zac, Walker and Jake’s first JOs, Josiah and Geoffrey’s last cadet event (also called 17 & under), and Alex Rey and Michael are considered strong fencers in this age category. All fencers tried really hard and applied the best of their knowledge and skills. At the end of the day Michael finished 5th and Geoffrey placed again 2nd. Geoffrey’s result earned him the second spot on the National Cadet Saber Team that will represent the US at the 2011 Fencing World Championships in Jordan at the end of March, along with Eli Derschwitz, from Boston (1st) and Peter Pak , from New York (3rd). Congratulations to all three of them and good luck at the Worlds!
February 21, the last day of the championships, had two events: girls’ cadet and boys’ junior team. The girls who fenced were Sarah, Sandhya, Anastasia P, Anastasia I and Mila (the last two first time at JOs). Daniel praised their performances and was especially proud of Anastasia I for earning her “E11” rating and Anastasia P for placing 7th and receiving a medal. The boys’ team formed of Geoffrey, Josiah, Alex Rey and Michael fenced really well, but was away from placing in top four by only one touch (44 – 45 with Nellya Fencers).
The whole weekend was a success for our club. Congratulations to the entire AGFC team (fencers and coaches)!