Nemecek Earns Spot On U.S. Team (Fencing)

Pritish Behuria

By Pritish BehuriaThe Daily Northwestern

Going into this weekend’s Junior Olympics in Denver, sophomore Samantha Nemecek was 62-5 for the season and looking unstoppable.

She wasn’t exactly dominant this weekend. But it still was enough.

Nemecek finished a respectable ninth in the foil division, helping her secure a spot on the U.S. Junior National Team for the third year in a row.

“I’m so happy,” Nemecek said. “This is my last year as a junior and I really wanted to make it to the team again.”

Nemecek’s consistent performances in national tournaments this season earned her a place on the team, which is based on points awarded for final positions in a number of national tournaments.

“Sam did really well, and its great to have her make the team,” coach Laurie Schiller said. “The selection was a question of a number of tournaments and performed well in all of them.”

Freshman sisters Kayley and Christa French were impressive for the Wildcats in the epee section of the tournament, with Kayley edging her sister this weekend with a second-place finish. Christa finished third.

“It was good to finish second this weekend,” Kayley French said. “I’m really proud of my performance and hope it’s a sign of great things to come.”

Despite their impressive performances this weekends, Christa and Kayley French missed out on junior national team selection, finishing fifth and seventh in the overall table.

“They did excellent this weekend,” Nemecek said. “They’re both excellent fencers and they’ll only get better.”

Sophomore Adrienne Shon led the Cats in the sabre section this weekend by finishing 42nd, while classmate Meredith Baskies rounded out the top-50 finishers for Northwestern with a 41st-place finish in the foil section.

“With a bunch of different individuals this weekend, it was a kind of a mixed bag,” Schiller said. “Sam, Kayley and Christa with Sam obviously doing well enough to make it to the junior team.”

Reach Pritish Behuria at [email protected]