The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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Fencers Experiences Growth, Challenge at Regional Tournament

Students travel to Chicago, improve abilities
Jeffrey+Chen+%E2%80%9826+%28right%29+fencing+an+opponent+at+Northwestern%E2%80%99s+Ryan+Fieldhouse.+Chen+placed+31st+in+Juniors+and+20th+in+Cadets.
Evan Vezmar
Jeffrey Chen ‘26 (right) fencing an opponent at Northwestern’s Ryan Fieldhouse. Chen placed 31st in Juniors and 20th in Cadets.

On the weekend before MEA Week, four other Blake fencers and I, épéeists Evan Vezmar ‘24 and Oliver Shoemaker ‘24,  saberists Alvin Liu ‘25 and Jeffrey Chen ‘26, and foilist Alex Zhang ‘25, traveled to Chicago to participate in the Remenyik Regional Open, the biggest fencing event in the Midwest. There, the facility was packed with hundreds if not thousands of fencers and spectators from around the region prepared to win or lose. 

I arrived in Chicago with the mindset of the latter. It was simply going to be a learning experience, getting a feel of what good fencing looked like. I wasn’t skilled enough to beat the seasoned veterans, but I could hold my own against some of the weaker fencers. I would be getting a fair share of winning and competing in close matches, but also the feeling of being a victim in a bloodbath from the better fencers. 

On the first day, I fenced in the Division 1A tournament, which I had no hope of doing well on at all. I lost most of my pool bouts, which determine where you place in the bracket, and faced a really good fencer in the first round. I discovered there that if a fencer were to swing a sword fast enough, it could physically burn my gear. And after the smell of charcoal filled the air, I knew it was the end of me. I lost the first match 5-15. 

I performed better on the second day with the Juniors tournament. I did significantly better in pools, beating a lot more fencers and scoring 4’s (out of five) on those I lost. So when it came to fencing the actual tournament, I did well enough to go against someone of supposedly similar skill. But the person that I was assigned to face happened to be a really good fencer who performed poorly in seeding. The match was better than the prior day’s slaughter, and I managed to make a decent comeback after a 10 point deficit, but I still lost 12-15. My opponent went on to win 3rd place in the entire tournament. 

Overall, the tournament was a great experience. I got to see and lose against a lot of amazing fencers, and spend a lot of time with my friends. So even if my self esteem was destroyed, I don’t regret taking this opportunity to see just how far I have to go.

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About the Contributor
Evan Vezmar
Evan Vezmar, Editor Emeritus
Hi, my name is Evan Vezmar, and I'm a senior. I began writing for Spectrum in my freshman year as a staff writer and became an editor in 10th grade. Last semester, I was a Managing Editor and the Opinions Editor. My favorite part of Spectrum is being able to give a voice to people who may not be able to through the news. In my free time, I like to read, play the piano, and fence.

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