Fencing: Northwestern sends two fencers to participate in the Junior Olympics


Daily file photo by Brian Meng

A Northwestern fencer faces off with her opponent. Two Northwestern fencers will participate in the Junior Olympics this weekend.

Aayushya Agarwal, Reporter

The Winter Olympics aren’t the only Olympics happening this month. 

As the regular season winds down, Northwestern will take a much-deserved break from intercollegiate play this weekend. However, not every fencer will have the weekend off. Two NU freshmen are set to travel to Salt Lake City to participate in the 2022 Junior Olympics. 

Foil Rowan Park and saber Kailing Sathyanath, both coming off strong seasons, will represent the Wildcats this weekend on a national stage. Park is 24-12 on the season and finished seventh overall at the Remenyik ROC & RJCC tournament and 22nd at the Penn State Garret Open. Meanwhile, Sathyanath is 12-11 on the season, finishing third at the Remenyik tournament and seventh at the Penn State Open.

Park will fence in the Junior Women’s Foil event Friday, while Sathyanath will compete in the Junior Women’s Saber event Saturday. Live results from the fencers’ bouts will be available online soon afterward.  

Coach Zach Moss shared his enthusiasm for Park and Sathayanath. He said the two fencers will gain valuable experience by participating for national recognition. 

“This is an important event for our athletes who are pursuing national team goals in addition to collegiate goals,” Moss said. “For our athletes competing, this is a great opportunity to compete against the top juniors in the country, earn national points and continue to grow as fencers.” 

In addition to striving for national achievements, Park and Sathayanath will use this weekend’s bouts to prepare for the postseason. Soon after the Junior Olympics, the Cats will host the Big Ten Conference Championships Feb. 27.

Moss said the Junior Olympics are an excellent practice opportunity for the fencers taking the mat this weekend. 

“The event allows for the continued development and preparation for our postseason events that are fast approaching,” Moss said. “I’m excited to see them perform on the national stage and to get experience in preparation for Conference Championships the weekend after.” 

Moss recognized the ambitious aspirations Park and Sathyanath had to achieve high-level results at both the collegiate and national levels. 

He said he’s proud of all they have accomplished in their first year of collegiate fencing and hopes they will return to Evanston next week with higher spirits and strong performances. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing their continued growth and to see where they can reach as Northwestern fencers,” Moss said. “The college season has a very different structure and energy than other fencing competitions (and) both Kailing and Rowan have responded well to that change.” 

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