March 22, 2012
Three Air Force Academy fencers are slated to compete in the 2012 NCAA Men's Fencing Championships in Columbus, Ohio, March 24-25.
Senior Phillip Choy, Basking Ridge, N.J., will be fencing in the Division I men's foil competition. The Ridge High graduate got his start in fencing after seeing a newspaper ad for a fencing club in his area, and decided to give it a try. His former coach is Andrzej Zamlynny at the Medeo Fencing Club. While in high school, he was a lacrosse player.
After high school graduation, Choy decided to come to the Academy after his parents suggested it for the opportunities. At the Academy, he is a systems engineering management major, who enjoys unarmed combat, because, according to Choy, "you get to beat other students up, as well as the class schedule, free gear and recognition as an athlete."
Choy has a younger brother, Jason, who fences saber, and according to the older brother, has more achievements than he (Phillip) could ever hope for. Jason fences for Notre Dame and is currently ranked high on the Division I points list. Choy also has a younger sister, Lee Ann, who fences epee, and at the Y-12 and Y-14 levels, has already medaled several times in each category.
Choy's future plans include going on to becoming an officer in the "greatest Air Force this world has ever seen."
Choy was the 2012 West Regional men's foil runner up.
Competing in men's epee is sophomore Chase Houser. A former high school baseball player, Houser graduated from Homestead High School in Mountain View, Calif. Houser got his start in fencing after returning from Singapore after the baseball season had already begun. While in high school, Houser started fencing at the California Fencing Academy with Coach Alexandr Maximovich.
A 2012 West Regional epee champion, Houser will be looking to improve his footwork, blade control and speed in the future. Houser's favorite Air Force fencer is 2003 graduate Seth Kelsey, men's epee. Houser's most embarrassing moment fencing with the Falcons was when his weapons broke during a competition and he had to borrow a right-handed French grip weapon to finish his bout.
In the NCAAs, Houser can expect to go up against many fencers he's faced off against before. One of those fencers will be Dylan Noller, a fencer he has competed against several times during the North American Cups in the cadet/juniors division.
At the Academy, he is majoring in management with a minor in Chinese. His favorite college class is military strategic studies because he enjoys learning about how battles were won. His dream Air Force job would be a helicopter pilot. Houser enjoys being close with the fencing team and being able to see his teammates daily at practice.
Freshman Alexander Chiang, who graduated from Lakeside High School in Atlanta, Ga., will also compete in the men's foil division. Chiang started fencing in 2002 at the Athletic Club Northeast where he was coached by Walid Mahram.
Chiang came to the Academy for the combination of a great fencing team, a good-learning environment, and strong academics. At the 2012 West Regional Champiships, Chiang was the fourth-place finisher in foil. His combined collegiate and tournament results gave him the birth to the NCAAs.
The Official NCAA Fencing Championships program is available at www.ncaa.com/NCFencing. Live stats will also be available at http://www.prisedefer.com/NCAA.