Irish compete at Junior Olympics
Observer Staff Report | 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.
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.