Fencers finish top in city, state

Darrean Loy, Reporter

Although half of the Convent and Stuart Hall fencing team were first-time competitors, it exceptionally wrapped up the season, winning the Fencing City Championship for the second consecutive year and having the only sophomore captain of any spring sport place first in the All-State Invitational.

“It was exciting and relieving when I found out I won yet again,” two-time All-State champion Erika Wong said. “I was kind of in shock because all of the year’s work was showing itself and my work was paying off.”

Co-captain Bea Gee placed second in All-State, also for the second year in a row.

“Fencing is great because it is a physical and mental game,” Gee said. “It’s almost like physical chess — you need to be strategic and, at the same time, be active and fit.”

Gee and Wong, along with co-captain April Matsumoto, helped teach new fencers a wide range of moves and attacks, including straight thrust and touch — allowing them to score points during matches.

“This is my first year fencing, so I didn’t know much about the sport before,” freshman Sydney Caba said. “All the other more experienced members of the team, especially the captains, have been so helpful teaching everyone this year.”

Daily practices let the team grow with skill and as a community, contributing to its success and undefeated season, according to Matsumoto.

“This year we were successful in every match, but no matter whether we were losing or winning, everyone was supportive of each other,” Matsumoto said. “We would cheer on whoever was up, so we would have everyone cheer for that one person and when they were done, we would cheer for the next person.”

With no seniors — and no one expected to leave — the team expects to continue its success next season.

“We have a really good system that we want to keep up,” Matsumoto said. “We are hoping for a repeat next year.”