Triton Fencers Take on North America’s Elite

    The tournament featured over 260 competitors, and presented a wide range of competition for the UCSD fencers.

    “This tournament really served to challenge and expose our athletes with world-class level fencing,” head coach Heidi Runyan said.

    However, Runyan felt the timing of the tournament was not favorable for the team, since it’s proximity to the recent BladeRunner tournament didn’t give the team enough time to recover or adjust their techniques.

    “We would have preferred if it came longer after the Christmas break,” Runyan said.

    The tournament — structured in knock-out format — pitted players into groups of six or seven. Then, the competitors faced each other for top spots in the group. The group’s highest scorers were then placed into direct elimination rounds.

    Despite the tournament’s inopportune timing and stiff competition, the UCSD fencers performed well.

    Triton sophomore Michael Fong continued to find success in only his second year fencing, and placed 22nd out of 195 participants in the junior men’s foil. Fong has already placed second at the UC Irvine Collegiate Open and 5th at the BladeRunner Tournament this year. His finish marks a 22-spot improvement over his performance at last year’s NAC, where he placed 44th out of 188.

    Fong said that fencers come from all over North America to compete at NACs and the quality of the field is incredible.

    “The competition is always fierce at NAC,” he said. “It’s typical to fence against Olympians and world team members.

    UCSD now looks ahead to the Northwestern Duals that will take place in Evanston from Jan. 30 to Jan. 31.

    Readers can contact Yvonne Chow at [email protected].

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