Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Melee Indeed....

One of my clubmates and I were talking about superstitions before competition. Not washing clothes, not eating meat... that kind of thing. I revealed that my superstitious behavior involved no beef or beef like meats a full week before competition, and no alcohol for a week before an event. That superstition took root when after I realized I got my best results following those two rules, especially in Statesboro.

So why did I agree to have a drink with one of my neighbors the Wednesday before the May Melee IV at Dunwoody? Sure he was getting married that weekend and I was skipping out on his last Happy Hour and Steak night as a single man, but fencing is more important than friendship right? Right?

The one pitcher didn't do too much damage to me on Saturday in the Div3 event. I won all of my pools except one bout with a lefty. The problem was I didn't back off after getting a 3-1 lead. It seems that one I get three quick touches in a row, I feel I can get 5 quick touches in a row. Losing 3-5 was not only humbling, it set me up to meet the eventual winner of the tournament in the elite eight instead of the quarterfinals. Given I lost to him 14-15 on a lazy attack, had I achieved a perfect pool record, given a couple other things I could have been a C07 today.

After the Div3, I visited one of my friends at the Dunwoody Beer Festival, then went on to watch some stupid puppet show (billed as x-rated by the AJC) with some friends (read: two cute girls I know and a random dude). The whole thing was a complete waste of time and only served to keep me out too late before the Open.

In the Open I was pretty well hammered. I was slow, that was my only real technical mistake.

In the Team Event, Team Coletrain - consisting of three C07's and me, was put up against a team of all lefties from Atlanta Fencers Club. And they consisted of two As and a C07. I think we had an honest chance. Its just that while 3-5 is an ok pool score in an individual event, three guys losing 3-5 means the team score is now 9-15. And that is very much not ok. We were just inexperienced as a team. Not only that, I was put in the unenviable position of trying to regain 15 touches in the second to last bout. After I got the first 5 touches in about 20 seconds, I thought I could easily get the next eight. Unfortunately, my body just completely ran out of gas. Even one of the parents smiled as he saw me "huffing and puffing." I am a relatively decent fencer, but I am no Bruce Vail when it comes to digging a team out of a double digit hole. Give me another three years and I will get there. We ended up losing 29-45, meaning we didn't come close to closing the gap in the end. Horrible.

Speaking of inexperience and Vail, one of his team members was completely changed into his street clothes when Vail's team was up against Charlotte in the last bout. They were only down about 6 points or so, nowhere near the double digits we allowed. Vail pulled it out for the win in the last bout, and the team went on to win the event. It turns out Bruce never noticed his teammate get undressed into street clothes, and then get back into fencing gear once someone pointed out that his team was actually going to win. Bruce probably could have handled it, but I know few others that could. Horrible.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Southeast Sectionals - Murder Was The Case...

Well, Senior Men's Epee is no joke. I ended up losing 5-4 in pools to the guy who pulled 2nd place, which made me feel ok. My other five bouts, including the one I won, were dreadful. It may have been the drinks the night before, or the hanging around with a friend of mine from 'Bama. Most likely I was just really rusty, and needed some more warm up time. Plus I wasn't breathing, or thinking in a competition mode. I didn't have much hope of winning, but placing in the top 3rd was not impossible. Let this be the last time I tank in an A4 event.

Oh, and the USFA hasn't received the GA Division results yet - so officially, I am still an E07. Great...