Dana Fencing Team: Compete with the men’s team or not?

In the years before the Dana Fencing Team competed alone for the Women’s Three Weapons Championship, which consists of accumulated scores from three squads: epee, sabre, and foil, it had fenced with St. John’s Prep together and challenged the Six Weapons Championship. However, since both Dana and Prep are traditionally competitive and often times won as a co-ed team besides their individual victories, the fencing coaches in Massachusetts gathered in the 2009-2010 season, seeking to restrict both teams. As a result, they voted to separate Dana and Prep.

Having been split up from Prep and fenced alone at State Championships for five years, Dana fencing team should have heard from the all the fencing coaches about the reconsidered decision on the separation back in August 2014, and yet being reluctant, they continued to postpone the date they set.

And yet the decision did not affect the Dana Fencing Team’s determination to excel. “We were separated because we were so powerful, but we are still strong,” said Mijeong Jo ’15, the team captain. In fact, the team was the 3-weapon team champion in 2014, and remains undefeated against schools in Massachusetts this year.

As the fencing coaches kept postponing the date to vote, Jane Carter, Head Coach of the Fencing Team, is “politicking those who are sympathetic.” For instance, she said that if Dana and Prep stayed separate at the State Championships, they would split up at regular home meets as well, therefore increasing the time and money the other teams would spend. Carter has faith in the final decision. “It’s a matter of timing,” she said.

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