Young Wildcats impress in Dallas (Women’s fencing)

Matt Forman

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Returning home this past weekend couldn’t have felt better for twin sophomore sisters Christa and Kayley French. The Texans have performed consistently well at the national and international level for years. Their success was highlighted most when Christa garnered a spot on the Junior World Team.

Christa earned second team All-America honors and placed sixth at the NCAA Championships in epee just a season ago while Kayley, ranked No. 14 nationally, earned second-team All-Midwest Fencing Conference honors in epee. Each made an immediate impact in their first season as Wildcats, combining for a record of 159-63. But the sisters’ success dates back to high school, when they traveled around the world representing the United States in international fencing competitions.

The French sisters led Northwestern to a successful weekend in a North American Cup event in Dallas, Texas. Christa placed tied for third while Kayley finished eighth in Junior Women’s epee.

Sophomore Joanna Niklinska and freshman Sara Peck finished 19th and 31st in epee, reaching the field of 32. The four-day event featured Cats of 20 years of age or younger competing as unattached fencers. Fencers who finished in the top 32 places of their weapons earned national points and automatic qualification for the Junior Olympics, which will be held in mid-February in Charlotte, N.C.

Sophomore Meredith Baskies performed well in foil, placing 16th. But Baskies is used to getting off to a fast start. Just a season ago Baskies, the only NU foil to place in the top 32 in Dallas, started the season an impressive 20-0 on the way to a 60-12 record as a freshman.

While the Cats impressed in foil and epee, NU’s sabreists had a difficult weekend. Of the four Cats who participated in sabre, only freshman Liz Sachs was able to reach the round of 64, finishing 50th overall.

NU’s strong performance in Dallas continued a remarkable start to the season for the Cats. The team posted 10 top-10 finishes in the USFA Remenyik Open in late October while defeating each of its first 10 team opponents in the NU Duals two weekends ago.

NU hopes to continue its early season success this weekend at the Penn State Open in State College, Pa., this weekend, a full team, individual tournament comprised mostly of collegiate fencers.

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