Columbia HS boys’ and girls’ fencing teams win Cetrulo and Santelli titles again

MAPLEWOOD – The Columbia High School boys’ and girls’ fencing teams swept the 2016 NJIFA Team Championships earlier this season, with the boys’ team winning the Cetrulo trophy for the fifth year in a row and the girls’ team winning the Santelli Cup for the third year in a row.

The CHS boys’ saber squad, led by international fencing champion Andrew Doddo and starters Matt Rothenberg and Harrison Woods, proved unbeatable once again by winning gold for the Cougars. The boys’ saber squad also won last year at this event. The boys’ foil squad of Tran Soles-Torres, Luke Moramarco, and Andrew Wasden placed fifth, and the boys’ epee squad of Josh Abdill, Isaiah Ogbeifun, and Adam DuBowy, placed seventh, which resulted in an overall win for the Columbia boys’ fencing team.

The CHS girls’ foil squad won gold once again, with A strip international fencer Marissa Viquiera being undefeated for three years in a row at this event. Her outstanding performance, together with the high level of fencing by foil fencer Camille Pham, Hanae Garrison, and Luz Aguba, won gold for the CHS girls’ foil squad. Pham, a national fencer, went undefeated. Saber squad fencers Natalie Martinez, Brianna  Stellini, Gabrielle Tazewell, Maya Schnall and Sophia Heriveaux placed fourth. Epee fencers Abigail Merelman, Brigid Lynch, Abigail Schneider, Ana Cowie and Isabelle Wendt placed ninth, bringing an overall win for the CHS girls’ fencing team for the Santelli Cup.

The CHS girls’ fencing team maintained its winning momentum in the dual meets. They had a strong start against Kent Place in the first round with all epee fencers Lynch, Cowie and Wendt winning all their bouts. When foil fencers Garrison, Banks and Hyppolite won their bouts in the second round, they spurred both Lynch and Cowie to win their bouts in epee, with Cowie clinching at 14-4.

In the dual meet against Montclair Kimberley Academy, there was no actual clinching bout due to the eight forfeited bouts by MKA, including the 14th bout, with the final score, 20-7. Foil fencers Viquiera, Pham and Aguba and epee fencers Merelman, Lynch and Schneide won all their bouts in both the first and second rounds.

When the CHS girls fenced against Montclair High School, the outstanding fencing by foil fencers Viqueria, Pham, and Garrison won all their bouts in the first and second rounds, culminating in Garrison finally clinching in the third round, 14-8, after winning her bout, 5-2.

After the winning Cetrulo, the CHS boys met with a couple of challenges in their dual meets. In the first round of their meet against Oratory Prep School, all three epee starters Abdill, Ogbeifun, and DuBowy won their bouts, which in turn spurred on victories in the second round for foil fencers Sole-Torres, Moramarco and Wasden, resulting in epee fencer Adam Dubowy clinching at 14-4. All epee bouts were won by CHS, including those of the three epee alternates, Anthony Jackson, Elijah Navlen, and Oscar Renda, post clinch.

In the dual meet against Montclair High School, foil fencers Soles-Torres, Moramarco and Wasden demonstrated strong fencing in the first round, winning all their bouts. Despite consistent victories by Woods and Abdill by the end of round two, the score was tied 9-9. All fencers worked hard to gain the lead, but were finally defeated by Montclair, 14-13.

The CHS boys’ meet against Millburn High School proved difficult with a too-close-for-comfort first round of 5-4, with excellent bouts by Woods, Benskins, Soles-Torres, Wasden and Abdill. In the second round, saber fencers Rothenberg and Woods worked hard to put CHS in the lead at 7-4. Soles-Torres and Moramarco showed some outstanding foil fencing in the second round, winning their bouts. But despite the strong effort put in by the epee fencers, the second round ended again with a 9-9 tie. In the third round, Millburn proved to be too strong, defeating CHS, 14-11.

The CHS boys’ fencing team had a close call against Montclair Kimberley Academy, with a couple of their starters absent. In the first round, saber fencer Dean Gillette demonstrated some strong fencing, winning his first bout, as the score was 5-4 at the end of the first round. Despite all three bouts won in the second round by epee fencers DuBowy, Ogeifun and Abdill, the score remained too close for comfort at 10-8. DuBowy finally clinched in his final bout, 14-13.

The District 5 Championships ended on a high note with both the CHS boys’ and girls’ fencing teams coming second overall. The boys’ saber squad of Andrew Doddo, Matt Rothenberg and Harrison Woods won gold and once again proved to be unbeatable.

The boys’ foil squad of Tran Soles-Torres, Luke Moramarco, and Andrew Wasden came in second and the boys’ epee squad of Josh Abdill, Adam DuBowy, and Isiah Ogbeifun came in third.

Tran Soles-Torres, who is the A strip foil fencer, and A strip epee fencer Josh Abdill both came in third and qualified for the individual state championships.

The CHS girls’ foil squad of Marissa Viqueira, Camille Pham, and Hanae Garrison once again came first. International fencer Marissa Viqueira was the District 5 foil champion. The girls’ saber squad of Natalie Martinez, Maya Schnall, Gabrielle Tazewell, and Brianna Stellini came in third and Maya Schnall won the bronze medal. The girls’ epee team of Abigail Merelman, Brigid Lynch and Isabelle Wendt came in third. Brigid Lynch placed fourth as an individual winner. All the girls’ squads qualified for the state squads’ championships. Viqueira, Schnall and Lynch qualified for the state individual championships.