via Sixteen-year-old Alexander Massialas (San Francisco, Calif.) won the Division One Men’s Foil national championship by defeating Ariel DeSmet (Troutdale, Ore.), 15-9, in the final round. With the score at 4-3 after the first break, Massialas adjusted his bout strategy to pull away for the win.
“Not only is fencing a physical game, it’s also a mental game,” Massialas said. “Once you get in their head, they go crazy and start making huge actions, and they’re vulnerable.”
The 2010 Cadet World Champion alternated between proactive and reactive behavior to defeat his opponent.
“I tried to mimic the first two touches I had in the whole bout, where I just pushed forward and pushed forward and finally scored on some good attacks,” Massialas said. “Once you push him enough and he gets hit, he realizes he has to push me and then comes charging down and he’s vulnerable to the counter attack.”
Eighteen-year-old Lian Osier (Battle Ground, Wash.) defeated local fencer Margaret McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.), 15-12, in the Women’s Under 19 Saber gold medal bout. After taking a 11-7 lead, McDonald charged back to a 12-12 tie. Osier credits her coach for her calm demeanor in recording the final three touches.
“I think I started getting ahead of myself, thinking, ‘I just got to close this out, i need to close this out right now,’ that I wasn’t really focusing on what she was doing,” Osier said. “I was like, ‘I need to do this, I don’t even care what you do.’ Then I looked to [my coach] Ed Korfanty and he was like, ‘just calm down,’ and that helped me focus.”
Osier cites two years of additional fencing experience over the 16-year-old McDonald for Osier’s superior strategy and composure.
“I fenced her two days ago in [division] one, so I had a good idea of what she was going to do, and she still fenced the same,” Osier said. “The touches I lost, I was like, ‘I need to stop doing this.’ And then she started just opening up and I was like, ‘okay, just keep doing this, I’ll just take advantage of this and take the lead back.’”
On Tuesday night, Empire United Fencing outlasted Las Angeles International Fencing, 44-41 in the Men’s Under 19 Team Foil final. It was the second 2010 Summer National title for the New York City-based fencing team, after winning the Women’s Under 19 Team Foil event on Monday.