Young Notre Dame fencers shine at Junior Olympics
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, February 21, 2018
The No. 1 women’s and No. 2 men’s fencing teams got another weekend off before the ACC championships this Saturday. However, 12 athletes did travel to Memphis, Tennessee, to participate in the USA Fencing Junior Olympics, a non-collegiate competition for fencers under 20 years old.
Athletes competed on an individual level and were not representatives of Notre Dame with some choosing to represent their high school club programs. The results of this dual have no bearing on the teams’ standing on the collegiate level, with the dual meant to provide younger fencers with more experience.
Friday began with freshman Reghan Ward taking ninth place in the junior women’s sabre and freshmen Joseph Marino and Matthew Tichacek finishing 30th and 35th in the junior men’s foil, respectively.
The Irish athletes continued their run of success on Saturday as freshman Stephen Ewart clinched the junior men’s epee victory. Sophomore Zachary Cheng also competed, tying for 97th out of over 300 athletes. Freshman Dasha Yefremenko rounded out the weekend with a eigth place finish in the junior women’s epee.
The junior women’s foil was the dual with the largest representation by Notre Dame athletes with all five finishing in the top 120. Sophomore Samantha Viqueira won the event followed by a seventh place finish from classmate Morgan Partridge.
The Junior Olympics wrapped on Monday with freshman Ben Scholl’s 47th place finish in the junior men’s sabre.
In addition to the 12 Notre Dame athletes, two incoming commits were also present in Memphis. Kara Linder, of Chandler, Ariziona, was the runner-up in the junior women’s sabre while Miriam Grady, of Broomfield, Colorado, finished 20th in the junior women’s epee.
The Irish will look to focus on the ACC championship, which will be their first competition since Feb. 4, due to the Duke duals being cancelled due to inclement weather on Feb. 10. The conference championship will be held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Feb. 24.
Of those participants at the USA Fencing Junior Olympics, Ward, Ewart, Yefremenko, Viqueira and Partridge will be competing this weekend as well. The selections for the conference championships are based on rankings of collegiate competitions only.