Last Saturday, we hosted a training event for higher-level Midwest fencers. Compared to fencers in more densely-populated areas of the country, Division 1 fencers here can have a more difficult time getting in a lot of practice against a variety of fencers in that skill universe because we’re so spread out geographically.
This year we had 11 fencers from 7 clubs participate. We fenced a pool of 11 to determine a “top” and “bottom” pool, and then did pools of 15-point bouts so people could get more fencing near their skill level. We recorded video of many of the bouts and reviewed it afterwards as a group.
9:00 am – Div3/D & Under Senior Mixed Epee
9:30 am – Y10 Unsanctioned Mixed Epee
10:30 am – Y12 Unsanctioned Mixed Epee
Athletes & parents: USA Fencing competitive membership is required for the Open, D & Under (Div3), Women’s and Y14 events, but not Y10 or Y12. Cost is $30 + $10 per sanctioned event (ex.: D & Under + Women’s = $50, Y12 + Y14 = $40). Sign up on askfred.
As always, it’s free to watch, and there will be fencers of all ages from around the Midwest!
The day after Thanksgiving, Sarah and Colin traveled to Peoria, IL to fence at the Midwest Regional Open/Junior/Cadet Circuit tournament. Colin fenced well and was 2nd out of pools in Junior Men’s Epee but lost his first direct elimination match, putting him 5th overall. Sarah had a bit of a rough time in Div 1A Women’s Epee pools, but upset 1st seed to make it to the final bout, where she lost and ended up with the silver medal. The next day, she fenced Division 2 Women’s Epee. This time she was 1st out of pools and lost 3-3 in overtime in the finals, finishing 2nd again. Full results: https://www.fencingtimelive.com/tournaments/eventSchedule/98DB13E3190D485B94C13A6783BFABA4#today
Div 2 Women’s Epee medalists
Div 1A Women’s Epee medalists
Sarah (right) makes an attack in the Div 1A Women’s Epee finals
The Valley (High School) Fencing Club hosted a tournament at RDF last weekend, and we think it was pretty successful.
The high schoolers did a great job running their tournament, which had 3 saber events, 2 epee events, and 1 foil event. There were about 40 fencers from almost every club in Iowa (8 from RDF), plus a few from other states, and three people earned new classifications. We’re very impressed with the kids’ professionalism and organization skills (they made t-shirts, signs, awards, and even had concessions – with healthy snacks, too, based on feedback from their first tournament last spring!).
In Unrated Mixed Epee on Saturday, Daniel A. won the silver medal, Ethan placed 6th at his first tournament, Colin placed 9th at his first US tournament, Simon was 12th in his first senior (ages 13+) event, and Kaden finished 16th but sure made Daniel A. work for that victory!
On Sunday, Colin won the silver medal in the Open Epee event, beating the fencer who knocked him out the day before and earning his E18 classification! Nick ended 9th, Daniel was 14th, and Mindy was 16th in her first tournament.
Thank you to the Valley Fencing Club for putting on the event, all the athletes who participated, the referees and coaches, and all of the parents and families that supported the event in various ways!
By “relaxing and recharging” in August, we actually meant “moving heavy items, tearing down walls, cleaning, and painting”. We’ve expanded the club to take up the entire basement of the building, which means we have a new entrance off E. 3rd St. (don’t worry – the ramp door will still be open) and room for 4 regulation-size strips so we can host small tournaments at the club!
Speaking of tournaments, Valley High School Fencing Club is using our space for their “Rajah Invitational” Oct. 5-7, and we’re having a youth tournament on Saturday, Dec. 8.
We especially appreciate all the help from the volunteers who helped us move junk, equipment, furniture and floor mats, painted, cleaned, and managed rainwater! We still have a few minor tasks that we’ll be completing in the next month or so (and the owner of the building is taking care of the sloped-toward-the-foundation sidewalk situation so there won’t be a small lake when it rains), but we’ve been able to start practicing in the space this first week of September.
First round of painting, patching the floor, and electrical installation complete!
Painting of the stripe and the floor and arrival of the floor mats!
Last week was our 3-day youth camp and coaching workshop with guest Coach Gary Copeland from Norther Colorado Fencers. In the mornings, kids ages 8-14 (who have fenced before – this was not a beginner camp) worked on a variety of techniques, as well as staying balanced and being focused, so they could apply those skills when it was time to bout. In the afternoons, two intrepid older kids stuck around to be students while Gary helped Kevin and Sarah with their coaching. We think everyone came away with some good things to focus on for next season!
On Monday night, Kevin, Sarah, and Jim taught a crash course in fencing to middle school campers in Simpson College’s Magic, Mythology and More! camp. Not pictured: people actually fencing each other, but it did happen (albeit with a “saber target only” rule)!
If you’re not a fencer or you know a fencer, this is a good chance to see what we spend all this time training for! As usual, it’s free to come watch.
Thanks to the great support we had last year, we’ve been able to make some upgrades to this year’s event: bigger gym with hardwood floors and bleachers so we can have more strips than last year, a grounded strip, another new scoring box, and more professional referees!
Events Scheduled for Saturday, March 24:
9:00 AM – Mixed Epee
12:00 PM – D & Under Mixed Epee
Over winter break, two RDF athletes traveled to Minnesota to train at the annual 4-day winter camp at the Twin Cities Fencing Club. Sarah and Lily enjoyed working with fencers from around the region and improving their fencing.