Fencing: Curzon breaks top 30 as Northwestern travels to U.S.A. Junior Olympics

Sophie Mann, Photo Editor


Dreams of gold permeated the minds of seven of Northwestern’s fencers who traveled to Cleveland to compete in the U.S.A. Junior Olympic Fencing Championships this weekend.

Coach Laurie Schiller said he was pleased with the fencers’ showing over the weekend, even though the competition did not count toward the Wildcats’ season record.

With the exception of freshman Maddy Curzon, most of the fencers have not traveled to many competitions in the past, so Schiller said this was an especially good opportunity for the less experienced athletes.

“For (the other fencers), it was a test to get better competition in that situation,” Schiller said. “Did anyone do spectacularly? Probably not. Did they accomplish what we went out to do to get good competition? Yeah, pretty much.”

Curzon finished 30th in the saber group, the highest of any Cat at the competition.

Because of her continued progress at recent competitions, Curzon has the opportunity to qualify for regionals, Schiller said. Curzon said having the opportunity to fence as an individual on the national level will help her in the future.

“For me, at least, competing on the NCAA level, I feel more compelled to perform for my team, whereas on the national level it’s just me fighting by myself,” Curzon said. “Even though I’m wearing Northwestern apparel, I’m competing as an individual.”

Unlike NCAA-style tournaments, which feature five duals, U.S.A. Fencing includes pools and then seeded duals. Additionally, the duals are less spread out throughout the day, so fencers have less time to rest in between bouts.

Curzon spoke to the necessity of remaining physically and mentally strong throughout the competition. She said she feels more prepared for NCAA tournaments that have fewer dual matches.

Even though this weekend did not benefit the team as a whole, Curzon said the experience helps the fencers who participated moving forward.

“Overall, it was a good tournament,” she said. “It mentally prepared me for what I need to work on for the duals at Penn and regionals coming up as well.”

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