Fencing Team Names its Most Valuable Fencers
June 1, 2004
The teams' Most Valuable Fencer award winners are team co-captains C1Cs Sean Blas and Apphia Taylor. The pair led the Falcons both on and off the fencing strip. In 2004, Blas was the third-place men's sabre finisher in the Armed Forces Championship tournament. In 2000, he earned the team's MVP award for his athletic accomplishments. Blas spent two years on a church mission in Bulgaria. Throughout his Academy career, Blas has been one of the team's top finishers.
Taylor was the women's epee champion in the Falcon Invitational, outscoring her teammate in the final championship bout. She was also the women's champion in the Armed Forces Championship. Taylor concludes her Academy career as the 2004 Western Region women's epee champion and 2002 women's foil champion. In 2004, she competed at the NCAA Championships, where she finished 22nd.
In March 2004, the Falcons hosted the NCAA Western Region Fencing Championship. Continuing in its winning tradition, Air Force, who was the defending women's champion two years running, was the overall regional champion. The men's team placed second in the tournament. C2C Marissa Romero was the individual women's saber champion. In women's epee, Air Force senior Apphia Taylor took first place.
Five AFA fencers placed 16th overall out of 33 teams in the NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championships held at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., March 25-28. The AFA fencers finished in the top 25 of their respective events. Sam Bartron finished 23rd in the men's saber event. Jason Stockdale finished 11th, while French finished 16th in men's epee. Romero finished 24th in women's saber and finished 22nd in women's epee. This was French and Romero's second trip to the national collegiate championships. In 2003, French earned second team All-American, Romero finished 23rd. The Academy finished ninth in 2003. Ohio State University won its first-ever NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championship followed by Penn State University and Notre Dame.