This weekend more than 1500 fencers are in Dallas, TX for the Junior Olympics. The Dallas Convention Center is ground zero for some of the best young fencers to prove their skills. The Junior Olympics are the last US qualification event for selection to the US Cadet and Junior National Teams which will represent USA Fencing at the Cadet and Junior World Championships in Jordan this April.
The Junior Olympics also serve as USA Fencing’s National Championships for the Cadet (under 17) and Junior (under 20) age categories.
On Saturday three new national champions were crowned as Mona Shaito claimed the Cadet Women’s Foil title, Desirae Major the Junior Women’s Sabre and Peregrine Badger held off a last minute rally to win the Junior Men’s Epee title 15-14.
USA Fencing has a recap of the day’s events.
Not all of fencing was in Dallas this weekend; we’ve pulled the following headlines from around the fencing world:
A group of US Fencers are in Budapest for the Coupe Heracles Junior World Cup events plus the Senior Men’s Sabre team is in Padua, Italy for the Luxardo World Cup event.
The Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing teams had a good week, with the women competing in the Stevens Tech Invitational and the men in the Boston Beanpot tournament.
The women took its only loss to Temple University, achieving an impressive 4-1 tally at Stevens Tech. The women scored 17-10 against Stevens, 6-21 against Temple, 14-13 against Johns Hopkins, 20-7 against Fairleigh Dickinson, and 20-7 against the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Brandeis played host to the Beanpot Invitational, with both the men and the women finishing 2-1. Though they lost to Harvard, the sweet win of the night was over chief rival Boston College.
The Harvard men’s and women’s fencing team faced off against Brandeis, MIT, and Boston College at the Beanpot Invitational. Both teams came away with their fourth consecutive win, defeating all of their opponents in successive blowouts.
Next up are the NCAA Regionals and Championship, and Harvard is optimistic about qualifying many of their fencers to compete.
The Tufts women’s fencing team defeated Queens College, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Fairleigh Dickinson over the weekend, gearing up for the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships. These wins helped to blunt disappointment over a loss to Temple and Johns Hopkins in a separate meet the same weekend.
The 7-year-old West Windsor Plainsboro fencing program has come a long way, starting as a club sport and then maturing to a full JV-Varsity program. The result of the hard work in the program is a 12-0 record for the boys in the New Jersey state championship quarterfinals.
The school competes against schools with fencing programs dating back decades, and they are very proud of their rapid progress in just seven short years.
Rhiannon Lawrence is a coach and tireless fencing advocate, and received recognition for her efforts at this year’s Devon Sports Awards. Already the recipient of a Young Coach award and Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, Lawrence is enjoying a second year of commendation for her work.
Only 23-years-old and already running her own bustling fencing club, Lawrence is doing great work introducing young people to the sport and even qualifying some of her students for regional and national competitions.
Tunisian fencer Sarra Besbes had a successful series of bouts at the Fencing World Cup, even putting French fencer Maureen Nixima, the epee world title holder on the run. Besbes only lost the bout against the epeeist by one point (15/14).
Out of 145 fencers, Besbes came 22nd, a good result for this Tunisian fencer.