Fencing Finds Popularity Among Younger Students

Ava Pilhstrom, Staff Writer

The Blake Fencing team has a substantially large team with about 40 people, and the grades of athletes vary from 7th graders to 12th graders. Each of the three teams saber, foil, and epee, both have enough people to form full teams which is great considering that most schools have smaller teams compared to Blake. It is also important to note that the team is mainly composed of middle schoolers because the team will have lots of room for growth and improvement in the future.

Along with a great group of fencers, the coaches on the team all have previous experience with fencing, and Coach Tom still fences at the Twin Cities Fencing Club. Kalissa Fruetel ‘21 is a first-year fencer, and she states that “the members and coach of my team really helped me learn the right techniques and what fencing is in general.”

The team has had a fantastic season with great outcomes at the State tournament. Richie Pihlstrom ‘20 says that the “Blake men’s team Saber, got first for the Men’s Team Saber, Blake Women’s Team Saber got first for Women’s Team Saber, I got second for Men’s individual Saber, Brandon Sun ‘19 got fifth for Men’s Individual Saber, Kalissa Fruetel ‘21 got sixth for Women’s Individual Saber; Women’s Foil got first for Women’s Team Foil, Lola Chamberlain ‘19 got first for Women’s Individual Foil, Pippa Pflaum ‘24 got fifth for Women’s individual Foil, Audrey Ronan ‘21 got sixth for Women’s Individual Foil, Maddie Hsia ‘23 got seventh for Women’s Individual Foil, and Blake Men’s Foil got third for Men’s Team Foil.”

The overall experience on the team seems to be positive. Richie states that “my experience has been a ton of fun with the team” and Kalissa states that “the community is great and I made quite a few new friends in middle school and upper school.” However, for fencers that want to improve their skills further, Richie would recommend fencing for one of the two Minneapolis fencing clubs or participate in local or national tournaments.