Varsity Fencers Excel at ISFL Individual Championships

The Masters School's varsity fencing teams impressed at the Independent School Fencing League (ISFL) individual championships on January 27 at Horace Mann.

A combined eight fencers from the boys and girls squads earned medals, showcasing skill and perseverance in the process. 

“We did pretty well,” coach Clara Meere-Weigel ’15 said. “And a big thank you to former coach Francisco Martin, who came out of retirement for that day to help coach.”

For the girls, Beila Kraus ’25 was the top medalist with a second-place finish in épée.

“I had no expectations going in,” Kraus said. “I didn't put any pressure on myself to perform — just to try my best. This served me, as it allowed me to be fully present during each bout.”

Eunice Wang ’25 (épée) and Ellie Hise ’25 (foil) each placed third, while Mahlet Messay ’24 and Ella Liu ’27 took fifth and sixth, respectively, in foil.

“What I believe was key to placing third was reserving my strength and not spending all my energy in the beginning of the day,” Hise said. “I didn't have a specific strategy. Rather, I observed how my opponents fenced and reacted to my attacks, and that informed my response.”

For the boys, Bob Jiao ’24 placed second in épée, while Gharvin Ramnarase ’24 and John Thorn ’26 took third and sixth, respectively, in foil. 

“The ISFL individual tournament starts with five people, and everybody in that pool plays each other in a five-touch bout,” Ramnarase said. “I won four out of five of those matches, but I lost, 5-1, to the person I played later in the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, the bout I needed to win to place third, I beat the person I lost to, 15-9. I was beyond ecstatic, especially because I lost to him, 15-12, last year in the quarterfinals.”

Looking ahead, both teams will compete at the ISFL team championship on February 24 at Hackley.

Jiao hopes to keep building on his stellar performance at the individual championships

"I'd love to practice harder, be a better fencer during the rest of the season, and lead the team to victory in the ISFL team championship," he said. 

Ramnarase has seen the fencing team develop a lot during his time on the varsity and will be aiming to close out his career on a high note. 

“I'm really proud of how my team has improved over the past two years,” Ramnarase said. “While it won't be easy, we can definitely win a medal at the team tournament.”

The girls also have big goals for the upcoming team event.  

“My biggest goal to close out the season is to win the ISFL team championship,” Kraus said. “We have an incredibly strong women's épée team, and I look forward to working with them to win.”

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