On Sunday, April 13, beginning at 9:30 am, St. Mary’s Fencing Club hosted a small tournament, called Fleche and Blood, in the ARC. In addition to fencers from St. Mary’s, fencers from UMD-College Park and St. John’s College were in attendance.
In fencing, there are three types of weapons: foil, sabre, and epee. Each weapon has different rules and, while the basic fencing uniform (also called “fencing whites”) is universal for all three weapons, there is a modification to each, depending on the weapon. In addition, the weapons all look different, though all fencers are attached using a cord that goes through the sleeve on their dominant side to an electronic box and their respective weapon. There are also cords that attach to their jackets and their masks.
In foil, the fencers wear the fencing whites with a silver vest (called a lame) that is attached to an electronic box and the foil itself. There is also an addition to the mask foilists wear that is of the same material as the lame, and serves the same purpose. Foilists can only stab this silver area to get points. When a weapon hits a part of the lame, it sends a signal that registers the hit. Sabrists wear a lame that has sleeves and that covers a slightly different area of the torso (beginning at the waist, while the foil lame has a triangle just below the waist that allows for valid points). Sabrists also wear glove coverings that allow for touches on their wrists, and masks that do the same (also attached to their lames). Instead of just stabbing, sabrists can also slash at their opponents. Finally, eppeists can only stab, but they can stab their opponents anywhere. Because of this, they only wear their fencing whites (no lames).
Fencing tournaments begin with round robin bouts, which last for either three minutes, or until someone gets five points. After all of the fencers have participated in round robins, there are direct elimination bouts, which last for approximately nine minutes (three three-minute periods, with brief breaks in between) or until someone gets 15 points. Once a fencer loses a direct elimination bout, they are eliminated from the tournament and cannot bout again.
While many fencing tournaments divide the fencers by gender, bouts in Fleche and Blood were co-ed, so there were three winners for each weapon: first, second, and third place, for a total of nine winners. In this tournament, the winners for foil were: Colette Maimone (from St. John’s) in first place, first-year Danielle Owens in second, and Carl Link (from UMD-College Park) in third. The winners for sabre were: Peter Polko (from UMD-College Park) in first place, Andrew Bridgeman (from UMD-College Park) in second, and sophomore Bobby Beall in third. The winners for epee were: junior Conor Wallace in first place, junior Acer Lewis in second, and first-year Jeremy Carton in third.
Next on the Fencing Team’s schedule is Champs, a tournament that is a follow-up to two tournaments (called Dual Meets) that fencers have attended this year. Champs is set to take place on Sunday, April 27, and any fencers who participated in either Dual Meet will attend.