Amherst Fencing Club Foils Middlebury
By Mark Roberts '13, Contributing Writer
On Saturday, April 16th, a scrimmage was held in the Alumni Gymnasium between the Amherst and Middlebury Fencing Clubs.

Nine fencers arrived from Middlebury to test their mettle against the Jeffs’ 15-member team. Fencers Clark, Uriel, Coco, Mary, Alex, Nicholas, Tatiana, Grant, and Kyle hailed from Middlebury. Fencing for the Jeffs: Jessica Brandt ’11, Maudlyn Obi ’11, Winthrop Harvey ’13, Natalie King ’14, Daniel Kay ’11, Nicholas Birago ’14, Mark Roberts ’13, Philip Menchaca ’12E, Jen Zakrzewski ’13, Matt Kurek ’14, Ashley Hall ’14, Sylvia Hickman ’14, Rebecca Eppler-Epstein ’12, Joey Messinger ’14 and Megan Duff ’14.

Standard for any fencing tournament is the separation of weapon categories. There are three weapons in the sport: foil, epee and saber. Each of the three categories has its own specific equipment and rules for engagement. Foil fencers, for example, are required to wear a metal vest called a “lamè” that covers “target area”, the area of the body which the tip of a foil must connect with to score a point. In foil fencing, the torso, from the waist to the neck, is considered target area.

Contrast this with epee fencing, where the entire body, from head to toe, is considered target area. Epee fencers do not wear a lamè. Finally, saber fencers fence with a special sleeved lamè and a “manchette,” a cuff that covers their wrists. In saber fencing, the entire upper body is considered target area. Middlebury brought three fencers in each weapon category. The Jeffs brought four saber fencers, three epeeists, and eight foilists.

First, the teams fenced each other in “pools,” which determined a seeding order for a singles bracket-style tournament. In all weapon categories, Amherst fencers were among the top three seeded fencers, and won two of the three singles tournaments. Birago took first place in singles epee, Hickman took second in singles foil and Obi took first place in singles saber.

Next, the teams competed in a team relay bout, in which, three fencers in each weapon category from each team compete to reach 45 points. If neither team reaches 45 points by round nine, then the team with the highest number of points wins. Team members swap places with one another after each five-point benchmark is reached.

The Jeffs were victorious in all weapon categories for the team relay bout. The foil squad, composed of Menchaca, Eppler-Epstein and Hickman, won their bout 42-37. The epee squad, composed of Kay, Birago and Roberts, won their bout 45-28. The saber squad, composed of Brandt, Obi and Harvey, won their bout 45-18.

Editors’ Note: The Amherst Fencing Club requested to run an article in this week’s issue of The Student. Any other club team members who wish to write an article for the Commencement issue should contact Brenton Arnaboldi ’14 ( or Carlyn Robertson ’14 (

Issue 24, Submitted 2011-04-27 03:22:32