Stellar weekend for the sabres

Gaels begin to prepare for February provincial championships

The fencing team is preparing for the provincial championships.
The fencing team is preparing for the provincial championships.

Last weekend, the men’s and women’s fencing teams participated in the Carleton Invitational tournament in Ottawa. Head coach Hugh Munby said, “It was a very satisfying tournament. We had trained hard in the period since the last team relay event in November, which was the RMC competition … I was just delighted [with the performance]. The results across the board improved … that group performed exceptionally well.”

Sabre, which features a short, light sword, was a strong event for both the men’s and women’s teams.

The women finished third overall after a semifinal loss to the Canada Winter Games sabre team from Ontario. They beat the University of Toronto ‘A’ squad in the bronze-medal match. The men’s sabre ‘A’ team was involved in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament, losing in the quarter-finals 44-45 to an alumni team from the University of Toronto. They finished fifth overall.

Munby credited the success to the work of his sabre ‘A’ team captains, Emily Maw and Greg Nonato, and also praised the efforts of men’s sabre ‘A’ rookie Scott Bowman.

Bowman said, “[The format] was good because the other guys on my team are really experienced and helpful.” He said his experience as a rookie has been positive, and he plans to stay with the sport for the next three years.

Nonato was also pleased with the way the season is shaping up.

“[The season so far] has been a great buildup. We have a couple of really good rookies this year, and we've had great coaching, which has helped a lot.”

The women’s foil ‘A’ team likewise turned in a strong performance, finishing fifth after a tough semifinal loss. Men’s foil ‘A’, women’s foil ‘B’, and women’s epee A also cracked the top ten, finishing eighth, ninth and 10th respectively. Other results included an 11th place finish by women’s sabre ‘B’, their best result of the season, 15th place finishes by men’s epee ‘B’ and women’s epee ‘B’, and a 19th place finish by men’s epee ‘A’.

“On the whole, it was just a great weekend of fencing, and I was just so pleased with [the team’s] performance,” Munby said.

The teams will go through a training camp at the end of January then host the Eastern Qualifying matches on Feb. 3 and 4. Two weeks after that, they will travel to Hamilton for the OUA finals.

Munby said the team will pick of the pace for the rest of the season in the hopes of finishing strong. Nonato was optimistic about the team’s prospects.

“A top three finish isn't out of the question, but it will take a lot of hard work.”

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