Fencing: Northwestern Fencing competes at January NAC to kickstart second half of their season


Seeger Gray/ Daily Senior Staffer

Two fencers competing against each other at a match.

Kunjal Bastola , Assistant Sports Editor

Northwestern sent 16 student-athletes to compete in USA Fencing’s January North American Cup last weekend. The tournament took place this weekend at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and is part of a circuit that allows teams to qualify and represent Team USA Fencing.

Freshman saber Megumi Oishi finished sixth place in the Junior Women’s Saber.

“I’ve been going to NACs since when I was 10, which is when I started competing at national tournaments,” Oishi said. “In the past, I’ve actually never medaled individually at this tournament, so this was a really big breakthrough.” 

She attributes last weekend’s success to her increased flexibility and use of a variety of techniques when competing against different fencers. 

Oishi said she looks forward to competing at Junior Olympics and the Division I Championships, where she hopes to repeat her result from NAC. She placed just outside of the next bracket at the championships last year and looks to use this weekend’s success as momentum to move forward in the competition. 

Coming from a small club in high school, Oishi said she is grateful for the huge amount of support she has found at NU, and specifically the support of her coach, Dennis Kolakowski. 

“If I were to credit one person with the success of this weekend, it’s definitely him,” Oishi said.

Along with Oishi, sophomore foil Yejine Lee placed 25th in the Division I Women’s Foil; freshman foil Juliana Hung placed 28th in the Junior Women’s Foil; freshman épée Anna Damratoski placed 34th in the Junior Women’s Épée; junior saber Sky Miller placed 42nd in the Division I Women’s Saber; and sophomore foil Rowan Park placed 45th in the Junior Women’s Foil. 

Lee and Park both enjoyed a strong showing at the previous NAC in December, where they placed 10th and 24th respectively, in the Division I Women’s Foil Section. Freshman épée Karen Wang placed 23rd overall in the Division I Women’s Épée at the December NAC as well. 

The team has a quick turnaround after returning from Louisville and is slated to compete at the Tufts Invitational in Medford, Mass. on Jan. 15.

With the Tufts and Philadelphia Invitationals as well as the DeCicco Duals coming up this month, and the Junior Olympics taking place in February, the team will be busy competing before the NCAA Championships begin in March. 

“There’s going to be more challenging fencers there, so hopefully we’ll move forward with more process goals,” said Oishi. 

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Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

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