AFA fencers faced tough competition Richmond
Six Air Force Academy fencers faced some challenging competition during the Division I North American Cup (NAC) last week in Richmond, Va., Dec. 8-10. The Richmond trip was the first Division I NAC of the season for the Academy fencing team.
The Falcons' top finisher freshman Peter French, who made his way into the men's epee top 20 and finished 18th, narrowly losing out to eventual bronze medalist Luigi Mazzone, 15-13. Sophomore Kai Anthony, from Dallas, Texas, who also competed in the epee had a very good start in the preliminary rounds that was highlighted by a 4-1 victory over Soren Thompson, a 2004 Olympic finalist. In the elimination round, Anthony was unable to keep up his level of performance and ended up 66th out of the field of 211.
In women's epee, Eliza Enyart also did very well in the preliminary round by winning all of her bouts. Junior Enyart had a tough draw in her elimination match against local epeeist Christine Dominick, who won the Falcon Open earlier this year. Enyart lost by a slim margin, 15-13, and ended up 36th. Senior Lydia Bigelow, in her first Div. I NAC, fought hard in the prelims but was unable to make the elimination cut, ending up 82nd.
In men's foil and sabre, respectively, both senior Nathan Smith and freshman Michael O'Connor had a tough time getting into their rhythm and were unable to make the elimination round. Smith finished 127th/137 in men's foil and O'Connor finished 94th/103. Both are experienced fencers and hard-working athletes, "and there are plenty of competitions left in the season for both Smith and O'Connor to show their strengths," according to Head coach Abdel Salem.
The team will have a busy season after they return from Winter Break. The next competition will be the Div. I NAC in Columbus Ohio in January, followed by NCAA meets at Duke and UCSD in February before Junior Olympics and NCAA Regionals, all leading to the NCAA Championships at Drew University.
Final Results: Men's Epee: French 18/211; Anthony 66/211. Women's Epee: Enyart 36/106; Bigelow 82/106. Men's Sabre: O'Connor 94/103. Men's Foil: Smith 127/137
For complete results go to: www.usfencing.org.