Last weekend, 26 fencers made the trek up to Sheffield to compete in the BUCS Nationals. On Friday, seven of the fencers competed in the Men’s Epee and Women’s Sabre. In the epee category, after initial rankings Jake Reynolds was ranked 3rd but came up against teammate Filip Anies in the knockout rounds. Filip won and proceeded to the top eight, where he met teammate James Odgers; the match was close, but James won, taking him to the semi-finals where he went on to win a bronze medal – particularly impressive as he was recovering from injury. In Women’s Sabre, Niamh was ranked 24th after initial rounds but battled her way to the quarter finals. Overall result: James Odgers 3rd (Bronze Medal), Filip Anies 8th, Niamh Spence 8th, Jake Reynolds, 17th, Sherry Xu 31st, Louis Jennings 45th and Noah Blackmore 107th.
On Saturday, Women’s Foil started bright and early, and in the first round of knockouts, two teammates, Francesca Cavallo and Ailsa Morrison, faced each other. After a tough match, Ailsa won and made it all the way to the top 16. Men’s Sabre followed shortly after, with top 64 placements achieved by Chris Erickson and Filip Anies. Overall Result: Ailsa Morrison 16th, Guilia Mandelli 30th, Francesca Cavallo 40th, Chris Erickson 43rd, Sherry Xu 49th, Filip Anies 58th and Raymond Wang 81st.
On Sunday, it was Men’s foil and Women’s Epee turn. Francesca Cavallo was ranked 11th after the first round but fought every knockout round with amazing determination and made it to the semifinals, which was a very close match but she pushed through to win 15-14. The finals were close and Francesca fought hard but sadly lost 15-12, resulting in a silver medal overall. In Men’s foil after the initial rounds, Guillermo Delberge was ranked 3rd but then faced a tough knockout run. He stayed determined and worked very hard, qualifying for semi-finals. It was close, but he went on to win 15-13 and progressed into the finals. The finals match was tense and started as a close match, but Guillermo pulled ahead, winning 15-9 and hence winning the competition. Overall result: Guillermo Delberge 1st (Gold), Francesca Cavallo 2nd (Silver), Peter Udvardi 32nd, Caroline Colagrossi 41st and Georgie Stroud 49th, Nic Gruse 66th and Javier Hernandez 68th Jesus Garcia Conando 83rd and Ben Fry 133rd.
Congratulations to the entire squad who travelled up, there was an overwhelming amount of hard work, determination and support. Up next for fencing are the BUCS team championships with several of our teams heading for a medal!