Fencing to victory

The fencing team won the State Championships after fighting all day at Concord Carlisle High School on February 7. The team ended up victorious, winning the State Champions for the third year in a row.

Ally Wolf ’17 placed first in Sabre, retaining her State Championship for the second year in a row; Amera Youssef ’17 came fifth in Sabre, and Molly Madden ’17 came third in Epee. Wolf, winning Dana Dragon athlete of the week, says, “The team worked so hard this year, and we deserved all the wins. It has been such a great season, and I’m sad for it to be over!” Amanda Chan ’17 adds, “It was a team effort.” Lily Craven ’19 says, “Everyone was so supportive of each other. The cheering was so loud it fueled you to keep going.”

The team had hoped to have an undefeated season for the first time since 2003. However, the team fell to Concord Carlisle on February 2 with a score of 12-15. Though the team had been working hard towards an undefeated season, the loss did not faze them as they headed into the State Championships.

The team had nine fencers and three alternates. The fencers combine teams with St. John’s Prep, an all-boys school, so they make up a coed team and can fence against all the schools competing in the Championships. Thirteen schools in total competed in the State Championships. The team fenced eleven rounds against all the other teams.

There are three weapons: Epee (traditional dueling sword), Foil (practice sword for epee, smaller and lighter), and Sabre (the lightest, evolved from the cavalry sword). The nine fencers are split up, three per weapon, as well as one alternate per weapon. For each weapon, there is an A fencer, a B fencer, and a C fencer. When fencing another team, the A fencer will go against the competing A fencer in said weapon. Each fencer goes against their counter from the other team in what is called a bout. With each of the nine fencers competing for eleven teams, they fought a total of ninety-nine bouts. The team with the most victories over the 99 bouts is the State Champion. Dana Hall won 77 out of 99 bouts, placing first, winning the title Girls’ High School Three-Weapon State Champions. St. John’s Prep won the boys’ category, with 74 wins.

fencing facesAlong with the boys’ and girls’ category, there is also a six-weapon team champion for the co-ed teams. Although for 30 years, Dana Hall and St. John’s Prep competed together, seven years ago the coaches from the competing schools voted to split the two up and not let them compete together because they are two different schools. Because of this, Boston Latin won the six-weapon team championship, while they came in second in the Boys’ and third in the Girls’. This is why there may be some confusion over the winners. Although as single-sex schools Dana Hall and St. John’s Prep could not be the six-weapon team champion, they came first in the Girls’ and Boys’ category respectively.

Photo credit: Douglas Wolf.

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