MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The Columbia High School boys’ and girls’ fencing teams both moved on to the final four semifinals of the state tournament this past week with key wins against Watchung Hills and Livingston for the girls and boys respectively.
The CHS boys’ fencing team faced Livingston High School in the “Elite 8” last week. Once again the boys showed off determined spirit and tenacious fencing to win 14-8. Saber fencers Matt Rothenberg and Dean Gillette went in with their swords blazing to decisively win their bouts, and saber fencer Malcolm Mee remained strong and focused under pressure to win his first bout 5-4.
Foil fencer Tran Soles-Torres displayed some fine fencing to win his first bout, and international fencer Jack Woods eliminated all three of his opponents 5-0 on the night with his experienced and superior fencing.
Josh Abdill came in strong for epee with his convincing win, and epee fencer Isaiah Ogbeifun followed his lead to add to the Columbia scoreboard in the first round.
In the second round, Rothenberg was determined to pick up point for saber with his aggressive 5-0 win, and foil fencers Woods and Soles-Torres followed his lead with their wins. Ogbeifun came through for epee in the second round with his decisve win.
In the third round of the most important meet of the week, both Rothenberg and Gillette showed focus and tenacity in the face of a 4-4 score to win both their bouts, and set Woods up to clinch the “Elite 8” meet for their team. The boys now move on to the semi-final of the state tournament this week.
The boys competed against the Oratory Prep fencing team earlier in the week. Despite three of their strongest fencers unable to make the meet, the boys showed what they were made of to win 14-8.
Saber fencers Malcolm Mee and Aaron Waldner started the night with very strong fencing to decisively beat their opponents. All three foil fencers – Andrew Wasden, Luke Moromarco, and Sebastian Clarke – aggressively defeated their opponents with their agility and fast thinking. Adam DuBowy and Josh Abdill worked hard in epee to add two more points to the scoreboard, with Abdill making a focused effort to win his bout under the pressure of 5-4.
In the second round, saber fencers Waldner and Gillette decisively beat their opponents. Foil fencers Moromarco and Wasden continued the winning streak by once again defeating their oponents. Abdill put in a strong performance for epee to further add a point for the Columbia team.
In the third round, despite his inexperience, saber fencer and freshman Jacinto Torrente put in some very strong fencing to win his bout decisively and have his first varsity victory with the CHS team. In doing so, Torrente set up foil fencer Julian Bowne to clinch for the night 14-8. Bowne displayed some strategic thinking and fast actions to win the bout, which clinched. Foil fencers Hikaru Hayakawa and Tim Rohan both had decisive wins, giving them both their first varsity victories as well.
The CHS girls’ fencing team competed against Watchung Hills in the “Elite 8.” The CHS girls worked hard with stellar fencing to defeat the Watchung Hills girls’ fencing team 14-10. Saber fencer Brianna Stellini put the first point on the scoreboard for Columbia with her very strong and decisive win. All three foil fencers – Marissa Viqueira, Camille Pham, and Hanae Garrison – defeated their opponents with Viqueira and Pham winning convincingly and Garrison showing much tenacity and focus under pressure to win her bout 5-4. Epee fencer Ana Cowie also remained focused and calm under the pressure, to win her first round bout 5-4, and epee fencer Iquivia Brassington displayed some exceptional fencing to convincingly defeat her opponent.
In the second round, saber fencer Stellini added her win to the scoreboard and foil fencers Viqueira and Pham followed her lead. Epee fencer Isabelle Wendt displayed perseverance and skill to add to the scoreboard for epee.
In the third round, Sophia Heriveaux’s saber win provided more breathing space with the too-close-for-comfort score, and Stellini’s focus and determination under pressure with her 5-4 win further widened the gap on the scoreboard. Foil fencer Viqueira showed no mercy with her outstanding fencing and win of 5-0, enabling foil fencer Garrison to clinch for the night at 14-10 with her win.
Despite a couple of their strongest fencers being absent, the CHS girls proved to be too strong in the dual meet against Kent Place later in the week. The CHS girls won this meet 14-6.
Saber fencer Stellini’s strong fencing once again put the first point on the scoreboard for Columbia. Foil fencers Hanae Garrison, Taylor Brooks, and Luz Aguba were on fire with their outstanding fencing, giving Columbia three more victories in the first round. Epee fencers Iquivia Brassington won her first round bout under pressure and Isabelle Wendt showed patience and strategic thinking to win her first round bout 5-0.
In the second round Laura Spanier scored a point for saber, and once again the three foil fencers – Taylor Brooks, Luz Aguba, and Hanae Garrison – showed no mercy with three outstanding wins. The winning momentum built by the foil girls continued into epee with Brassington, Wendt, and Ana Cowie all determined to win their bouts with strong fencing. In the third round, saber fencer Spanier clinched for the night 14-6, with her decisive win. Foil fencer Leah Fergus demonstrated some fine fencing after the clinch, to win 5-1 and have her first varsity victory.
The CHS girls’ fencing team will be once again move on to the semifinal of the state tournament.