Fencing: Wildcats head to California for final preseason warmup


Source: Northwestern Athletics

A Northwestern fencer battles an opponent. The Wildcats will compete individually at the North American Cup this weekend.

Peter Warren, Reporter


After starting out the year on the right foot at the Remenyik Open, Northwestern is looking to take another step forward this weekend.

The Wildcats face their final competition before the collegiate season at the North American Cup in Anaheim, California, which starts Friday and runs through Monday. The tournament, coordinated by USA Fencing, is not a collegiate event and features all different types of competitors, from high school fencers to Olympians.

“I am excited to see them compete at a higher level and against tougher competition and see how that goes,” coach Zach Moss said. “We have about three to four weeks until our first college competition, so this will be a good final test to dictate how we move through the next few weeks in preparation for that.”

The Cats trained differently to prepare for this event, Moss said. NAC events are 15-touch bouts instead of five-touch bouts featured in collegiate contests.

Even with this unique preparation for the weekend, Moss said NU is focused on the long-term.

“We are still in a building stage for our season where we are not focused on strictly peak results,” he said. “We are building towards the season itself, so it is a test and trial situation of our processes.”

At last year’s October NAC, sophomore epee Pauline Hamilton led the way with a seventh-place finish in the Division I senior epee event. Junior sabre Maddy Curzon and senior epee Katie Van Riper also finished in the top 16 in the Division I sabre event and the Division II epee event, respectively.

As for this year’s results, Moss said he does not have any specific place expectations due to the tournament’s difficulty. However, he said he would like to see as many NU fencers finish in the top 32 as possible. If a fencer finishes in the top 32 they receive points, which are used for seeding at USA Fencing competitions and selection to participate in national championships and international competitions.

Van Riper agreed with her coach, saying the team is using the competition as a springboard for future tournaments.

“This weekend we’re honestly just looking to keep getting back into the feel of competing, and work together as a team,” Van Riper said.

While most of the Cats will fence in Anaheim at some point this week, two fencers will compete at a different tournament.

Junior foil Yvonne Chart and freshman foil Sarah Filby will compete at a FIE World Cup event in Cancun this weekend. Chart is representing Great Britain while Filby will compete for Canada.

Even though this tournament is an individual tournament, NU looks to keep building team unity, Curzon said. She added that the Cats want to build on their successful start and continue to come together.

“Everyone wants to continue what we had in the Remenyik (Open) with the team attitude, the cheering for each other and just being able to unify us a little but more,” Curzon said. “That’s a big goal. We had a little discussion as a group after the tournament. We agreed that’s what we want to keep doing.”

Email: [email protected]