Air Force Nick Toth Open
USAF Academy, Colo. - Air Force Academy fencers opened the 2006-07 season hosting the annual Nick Toth Open, Sept. 9-10. Several Academy fencers started the season off with top finishes in their events. Team highlights follow.
Senior Jason Stockdale finished second in the mixed epee event on Saturday. In the gold medal bout, Stockdale was well-matched with opponent Isaac Erbele from the Denver Fencer's Club. The two opponents went neck and neck throughout the bout. However, Stockdale's tenacity was not enough to overpower his opponent. Stockdale lost the bout, 15-13. On Sunday, senior Nathan Smith dominated his opponent Nathan Anderson in the mixed foil gold medal round. Smith held the lead throughout the bout, winning 15-2. Smith was the only Falcon to win a championship bout at the 2006 Nick Toth Open.
"I'm glad I was able to fence so well today, especially since I've not fenced since last March," said Smith. "I'm looking forward to the new season because we have a good group of fencers. I'm excited about the new year as I have my sights set on becoming an All-American."
Also competing on Saturday, freshman Peter French finished fifth, losing 15-14, following a tight bout with Stockdale in mixed epee. In the mixed saber event, senior CJ Baran tied for third with freshman Alexander Brand. Junior Brent Watson, who was down 14-9 came back to win his bout, 15-14 and earned his U.S. Fencing Association "D" rating in sabre after finishing sixth.
"The team did well for the first competition of the year; with our excellent coaching staff ensuring our improvement, the season will be better than last year," said Watson.
In women's sabre on Saturday, AFA's Katherine Gulczynski finished second followed by sophomore Crystal Yang who tied for third with Jordan McNally from the Colorado Fencing Academy. Sophomores Angelica Plazas and Ainsley Allen finished sixth and seventh, respectively. AFA's All-American Elizabeth Enyart tied for third in the women's epee tournament. Team captain senior Lydia Bigelow finished seventh, while Egle Paskeviciute, a Naval Academy exchange cadet, finished 12th.
Also on Sunday, sophomore Trenton Atwood tied for third in mixed foil and also earned a "C" rating in USFA, while sophomore Mryamn Ruth fenced her way to a third-place finish in women's foil. She lost 15-10, after a failed counter attack in the semi-finals.
"I was really excited to get back into fencing for this upcoming year. The Nick Toth always brings in quality competition and I feel very fortunate to get the opportunity to compete with such talent. I am looking forward to the Falcon Open to check up on my progress," said Ruth.
On Sept. 16-17 the fencing team travels to Santa Fe, N.M. for the New Mexico Open. The fencers will host the Falcon Open on Oct. 21-22.
Nick Toth Open
AFA Final Results Sept. 9, 2006 Mixed Epee
Sept. 10, 2006 Mixed Foil