Fencers dominate at state

Aggie Kruse

Freshman Eliza Klyce and senior Beth Levin rank in the top 10 fencers in California after securing first and ninth places respectively in the state championship on May 15.

“I feel really great about my fencing that day,” said Klyce, who won the All-State Fencing Tournament. “For my first time competing in state, it was challenging fighting a large pool of skilled girls, but also a fun experience.”

Klyce, nationally ranked in the top 16 fencers of the Y-14 and Y-16 age groups, automatically qualified for finals. Levin proceeded on to state after edging her way into the top eight at the All-City Jamboree on April 24.

“I’d never been to state before, so I was very excited going into it,” said Levin. “I could have fenced better, but I had some stressful moments. My foil snapped in half, which threw me off. But nevertheless, I’m still proud I got this far.”

Pool size in competition averages from 4-5 people, but the exclusive nature of the state tournament had competitors fencing in one large pool of nine, which created a challenging and exciting situation according to coach Leo Bello.

“A lot of people don’t make it this far and, regardless of how they place, you have to honor that,” Bello said of the championship held this year at Lowell High School. “It shows that these girls are well-disciplined, passionate and have a commitment to applying themselves.”

Klyce won each one of her bouts and ended with an 8-0 record.

“I was very happy and proud for the girls,” said Bello. “Eliza fenced very well as a calm, patient calculating competitor. I believe she will be a true champion in the future.”

Levin recovered from her broken equipment and fought on with a backup foil, bravely according to Bello.

“It was very bittersweet,” said Levin who fenced for her first and last time at the state level. “I felt a sense of disappointment that I would never fence in state championships again, but I did make it, due in a large part to the high standards of Leo and [assistant coach] Saba [Shatara]. They constantly challenged us to meet those ‘Win 5-0’ expectations.”

The CSH Spring Sports Banquet on May 19 officially marked the end of the Cubs’ successful fencing season with the All-City title followed by the state victories.

“State championship results were a really nice way to wrap up this season for the Cub ladies,” said Bello. “They finished strong, and I’m looking forward to a bright future for the school’s team.”