SESP sophomore to represent club fencing team at Junior Olympics

Alex Lederman, Reporter

Alistair Murray will represent Northwestern men’s club fencing in Portland, Ore., this weekend at the 2014 Junior Olympic Fencing Championships.

Murray, a SESP sophomore from Mountain Lakes, N.J., will join freshmen varsity fencers Stephanie Chan, Cindy Oh and Stella Pointeau on the trip. Murray enters the tournament seeded No. 48 in epee of 222 fencers. He said his goal is to finish anywhere above that mark.

“I’m hoping to raise my national junior rolling points ranking to within the top 50,” Murray said. “That being said, I am trying to enter this weekend without many expectations. I hope and expect to do my best, but if I do come in last place for whatever reason, I will still be happy.”

Murray has led the Wildcats’ epee squad to wins over Notre Dame, Stanford, UC San Diego and several other varsity programs this season. The men’s club team, under the leadership of captain Maciej Zmyslowski, a Weinberg senior, is one of the premier fencing programs in the nation. NU won the Men’s Club National Championship in 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2011.

Even though he is a national threat, Murray joined the sport relatively late in life. He started his freshman year of high school, as opposed to many of his competitors, who have fought nationally since middle school. Nonetheless, Murray rose through the ranks quickly, and by senior year of high school, he was captain of Newark Academy’s fencing team.

At 6-foot-2, Murray has used his height to his advantage to score big finishes across the country. He nabbed third place out of 58 epeeists at the New Jersey Qualifiers at Rutgers University from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1  to earn a bid to the Junior Olympics. In 2012, he finished 37th at Junior Olympics in the men’s under-20 event.

“It can be an intimidating environment,” Murray said. “But also incredibly exciting.”

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