Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pretty Girl Fencing for Mastercard

I am still experiencing the afterglow from getting my B in epee last weekend. Nothing but fencing related issues have been on my mind - which works out because I am getting ready for the Vandy Cumberland Open this Saturday. And while I was flipping channels (waiting for Ron Paul on the Tonight Show) I came across this Mastercard commercial on cable. It it Penelope Fortier an enchantingly beautiful song called "Favorite Things." And of course, she weaves a touche being scored against her into the song. I actually shed a tear... someone may be cured of cancer.

If Penelope would sing "Favorite Things" at a NAC or at Nationals, I would straight up cry. She has that great a voice.

EDIT: I just checked out Penelope's MySpace Music profile. Let's just say that the music lessons must have came between the stuff on her page and "Favorite Things." I'm not saying she's bad - just that there is a scratchy off harmony thing from the music on her site. But, I am no music critic.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tiger Open Epee Results

Mixed Epee: 28 Competitors, a A2 Event
Place Fencer Club Rating* Rating Earned*
1 Lane, Mitchell CFC B2007 A2007
2 Benslimane, Wari GFA B2006 B2007
3 Shaffren, Craig NGFC C2007 B2007
3 Cole, Matthew DFC D2007 B2007
5 Miller, Stuart NGFC A2006
6 Vail, Bruce DFC A2007
7 Seaman, Scott FFA B2007
8 Thompson, Daniel CLEM B2007
9 Caldwell, Laney SB A2007
10 Sanders, Corey CLEM E2007 D2007
11 Kelly, Michael CFC B2007
12 Aldinger, Michael DSOC E2007
13 Newman, Taylor CLEM D2007
14 Bosco, Marianne SB B2007
15 Virkus, Zeb CFC U
16 Hueske, David DSOC C2005
17 Green, Michael CFC B2007
18 Bokhanevich, Dmitriy CLEM U
19 Randall, George CLEM E2006
20 Graves, Joshua UTK U
21 Rowland, William DSOC D2005
22 Floyd, Alaina CLEM U
23 Scott, Caleb CLEM U
24 Benward, Emma CLEM U
25 Patterson, Andy CLEM E2006
26 Dinkel, Scott CLEM U
27 Gutierrez, Pete CLEM U
28 Norris, Ayla CLEM U

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Southeast Doubleheader - And a New B07

Nothing like a good weekend of fencing to make you forget the debauchery of Madison, WI that I have nearly outgrown.

First up was the tournament at Birmingham, AL. The Birmingham FC has a great facility with 12 strips, and the tournament was very well run. In the Open Epee event I swept my pool - which happened to be populated with an A07 and former Olympic Medalist (in foil, but it still counts). I ended up #5 out of the pools with a BYE, but got taken out by a fencer from Huntsville who made it to the four. Still, not a bad day.

Next was the Tiger Open in Clemson. I pretty much crapped the bed in the pools, leaving with only one victory and a horrible indicator. However I pulled it together and made it to the four - losing to the eventual winner 15-14. Since the event was an A2, I earned my B07 rating. This was shocking to me, because I signed up for every tournament in a 250 mile radius hoping to earn my C before registration for the Div I Atlanta NAC closed. I can't fence Div II events any more, but I finally broke into Div I and as I told my neighbor, "now I can play with the big boys..."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beyond The Plateau

Where it not for my clubmate's generous gift for my birthday, I may be hitting a plateau. I have been reading a book on Italian fencing with the spada, and it has made a positive difference so far. Beyond that, I have been carousing WAY too much - and the scale has condemned me. The near term goal is still to earn a C07 before December 4th so I can fence the Atlanta Div I NAC. My performance at the C2 turned D1 event a couple weeks back proved I can fence at a C-Level, I just need to prove it at another tournament. I just hope time doesn't run out.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Story of Five Bouts

Imagine with me, if you will, a hot gym filled with fencers, family, and friends. Three events are taking place - the Y10 and Y14 kids have started their pools, and the Div 3 event is in the round of 32 of direct elimination. Let's focus on Div3.

1. Round of 32. The boy I am fencing is about 6'1" and around 240lbs, but he doesn't wear it well. He doesn't move very quickly, or gracefully - so for better or worse he stands still. Nevertheless his reaction time is very fast, even if his reactions are not skillful. At 9-0, he loses confidence, and I become very interested in ending this bout as quicky as possible. Then I begin to attack without fully extending my arm - and a perfect bout is out of reach at 10-1. He manages to score a couple singles when my point glides around his belly instead of sticking it. During the first minute break I regain my composure, relax, and just take my time - anyone can beat me if I start rushing and not taking him seriously. Mind put to rest I end the bout 15-6.

2. Round of 16. The man I am facing is about 6'3 and around 220lbs or so. He has much more skill than the last opponent, but did not move much at all except to fleche or lunge. I have a lot of confidence in my fleche defense against right-handers (my defence against a lefty's fleche needs work), so the score ran in my favor easily.

3. Round of 8. Here I face the #1 seed after pools, standing at 5'9" and around 180lbs. He moves around a lot more than the others, and his fleche is more successful. I open up the distance to give my defense a chance to work - and try to force his fleche by driving him to his own endline. I threw in a few fleches of my own; just over half were successful. Of course, that's enough to win.

4. Round of 4. This girl, standing at a proud 5'10" and weighing around 130lbs, I have fenced twice previously - first at AFC in the final where she earned her D, the second in pools at Vandy where I evened the score. Back then I remembered that she was not confident in her attack, but her counterattack was deadly. I managed to stay ahead, although the close score through each period gave her confidence in her attack. At 14-14, I saw AFC flash before my eyes. We were fencing on a far strip next to a wall and a bleacher - and I didn't even hear the loud clang when my epee struck the bleacher in its wild path to this girl's midsection. I fought the call without success. Again, at 14-14 I knew that an attack was coming, and I couldn't afford to get countered on an advance-lunge. I extended my arm towards her sixte to pull a parry, beat the blade in counter sixte and launched myself at her. I don't know whether it was the initial hit to the upper chest or the safety touch to her flank that won the bout... all I know was this time the light came on with no question.

5. Round of 2, Final. This guy is strong... and unrated. He was the sleeper in this event. Standing at 5'11" and 160lbs, he was lean and mean. He scored first with a fleche. I scored back with a fleche. Then followed up with a fleche so slow, he couldn't believe I got enough pressure on my tip as he backpedaled to get the touche. Through out the bout I managed to stay at least two touches ahead, but every time I got an advance too close, he would fleche successfully or pick my hand. The best I could do was stay ahead in the score, let him chase me down the strip, and through him lunges out of distance to keep it interesting. When ever he backed up, he ate up clock. When he stood his ground, I hit him with a fleche. At 12-10 my arm was too tired to keep extended, and I only pushed him back to make him jump and keep the wide divide between us. Just as he was about to push me off the strip - the director called time. I won.