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Fencing

Irish compete at Junior Olympics

| Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Irish sent four male fencers to the United States Fencing Association National Junior Olympics last weekend, a four-day competition held in Portland, Ore.

Three epeeists — sophomore Garrett McGrath and the freshman duo of Conrad Sutter and Arthur Le Meur — participated, along with sophomore sabreur John Hallsten.

Irish sabreur John Hallsten, left, battles at the DeCicco Duals on Feb. 9. Hallsten lost in the quarterfinals of the USFA National Junior Olympics this weekend. Emmet Farnan

Irish sabreur John Hallsten, left, battles at the DeCicco Duals on Feb. 9. Hallsten lost in the quarterfinals of the USFA National Junior Olympics this weekend.

All three epeeists made it through pool play with 5-1 records. Le Meur, the No. 25 seed, defeated Austin Spickes 15-11 in the single-elimination round before breezing through his match with Matthew Comes, winning 15-6. Le Meur then fell to Nicholas Campbell-Kruger 15-13, finishing in 23rd place.

Sutter entered the elimination portion with the No. 18 seed, out-touching Justin Swicegood 15-9 and James Salem 15-8 to start the elimination round. However, he was defeated in the next round by eventual champion Ace Eldeib 15-11.

McGrath had the highest seed of the three, earning the No. 16 seed in pool play. He breezed through his first two elimination bouts, defeating Zachary Landzerg 15-8 and Bryn Hammarberg 15-3. He then won a close match over Jake Raynis 15-12. In the round of 16, McGrath quickly eliminated Zach Kravitz 15-4, but had to battle with Campbell-Kruger, narrowly pulling out a 15-14 victory. After winning his semifinal bout, 15-11, over Dante Centeno, McGrath fell to Eldeib 15-10 in the championship bout.

In sabre, Hallsten went 3-3 in pool play, entering elimination with the No. 70 seed. He seemed to flip on a switch, knifing through the competition until the quarterfinals, where he lost to Karol Metryka 15-11.

The Irish will be back in action for the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, held at home at the Castellan Family Fencing Center on March 1 and 2.

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