The Queen’s fencing team competed in the OUA East Qualifiers held at Carleton University on Jan. 26 and 27, catapulting 14 members—more than half the team—into the finals to be held Feb. 16 and 17 at the Royal Military College.
Qualifying for the men’s individual events were epee fencers Dimitry Balashov, Steve Betts, Anton Oentoro and rookie Jack Chen.
Greg Nonato qualified in men’s sabre, while Christian Petrozza and Andrew Di Lullo qualified as finalists for men’s foil.
All three of the men’s team relay weapons earned a position in the finals, with assistant coach Jamie MacDonald attributing the team’s success in part to the tough physical conditioning they’ve done this year.
“We performed a lot better than last year, we worked hard and beat RMC, our major competitor,” MacDonald said. “A lot of peak physical training did the trick.”
Chen has only been fencing for six months but qualified for the OUA finals.
Head coach Hugh Munby said this wasn’t only the result of an exemplary individual effort, but also the support offered by the team.
“This is a large measure of his determination, athleticism and motivation,” Munby said. “It is also largely a result of the team function here and the type of training program Queen’s has.”
Seven members of the women’s team qualified, with veteran Joanne Ko and rookie Sydney Houston-Goudge emerging victorious for the epee. Sabre finalists were Joanna Chen, Stacey MacDonald and Kristina Han along with women’s foil finalists Alicia Finan and Mary-Clair Yelovich. The only women’s relay team to make it into the championship round was the epee.
With such strong performances thus far, Munby said the team’s in a good position for the championships.
“We’ve performed a lot better than last year,” he said. “We don’t know what is coming out of the West, but this year could definitely see us with some medals.”
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