From Krysia Woods:
Very few things can match the heady mix of nervous energy and excitement that is experienced when watching the CHS Boys’ fencing team win despite various obstacles put in their way. These boys really stand apart in their strength and determination to support each other regardless of whether their teammate is winning or losing on the strip.
This was definitely the case in the first round of the State Tournament against Hunterdon Central last Friday night, during the Sweet 16 Championship meet.
In the first round Saber fencers Matt Rothenberg and Dean Gillette came in strong to win their bouts. Tran Sole-Torres and Jack Woods put in top performances to win decisively against Hunterdon Central’s strong foil squad. Epee fencer Josh Abdill continued the winning streak in the first round of epee. Epee fencer Adam DuBowy, who is known for his quiet, deliberate movements on the strip, showed a fierce determination under pressure at 4-4, with only three seconds left on the clock, to win his bout in the first round.
Gillette and Rothenberg held strong during the second round of Saber, and Soles-Torres added his win to the scoreboard in foil. With Isaiah Ogbeifun’s 5-4 win in Epee, the 10-8 team score was still a little close for comfort.
Malcolm Mee stepped onto the saber strip in the third round with strength, confidence, and fine fencing to win his bout against Central’s best fencer and widened the gap on the scoreboard, much to the relief of his team and the CHS spectators. Rothenberg followed his lead and then foil fencer Woods’ decisive win set up his fellow foil fencer Sebastian Clarke to finally clinch for the night at 14-10, with his concentrated determination.
The CHS Girls’ team once again showed their strength, determination, and strong fencing skills in all three weapons to defeat Montclair High School 14-9 in its Sweet Sixteen battle.
Brianna Stellini demonstrated her tenacity and strong saber fencing in the first round to put CHS on the scoreboard. Foil fencers Camille Pham and Marissa Viqueira displayed their high level skills to both win their first round bouts, and epee fencer Ana Cowie worked hard to add her win to the scoreboard.
In round two, saber fencers Stellini and Sophia Heriveaux were determined to focus on winning their bouts in order to bring the match score to 6-6. Despite the enormous pressure, both Stellini and Heriveaux succeeded in catching up with Montclair.
The decisive wins that followed by foil fencers Hanae Garrison, Pham, and Viqueira ensured a good lead on Montclair, and eased the frayed nerves of the CHS spectators. Epee fencers Iquivia Brassington and Cowie added to the wins, and saber fencer Heriveaux continued to fight with steely determination in the third round to win 5-4. Columbia’s strong foil squad once again provided three decisive victories in the third round with Viqueira setting up her fellow foil fencer Pham to clinch 14-9.
With strong fencing and enormous team spirit from both, the CHS Boys’ and Girls’ fencing teams will be moving on to the Elite Eight round in the State Tourney Championship meets this week.