Army Ripostes Navy at First Annual Fencing Tournament in Warrington, Pa.
Army claims victory in historic series of bouts
Warrington, Pa – It came down to the last point in a fencer’s platform as Army engaged Navy in an intense fencing meet on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Liberty Fencing Club, located at 366 Easton Road, Unit D-1, Warrington, PA. The event was split into three sets of nine bouts, each set representing a different weapon – foil, sabre and epee. The first team to win 14 of the 27 bouts was the victor. The Navy men’s team put forth a tremendous effort in the epee bouts, taking eight of nine possible points. Army’s women dominated Navy with an overall score of 17-10. Navy’s men upset Army 14-13 (Army’s men had just finished 2nd at Nationals and won the Southern Atlantic Conference Championship this year), and for men and women combined, Army won the overall contest by a final score of 30-24.
A local fencer from the Army team experienced his share of excellence as well. Jeff Nielsen, a Washington’s Crossing resident and graduate of Council Rock High School North class of 2009, won all three of his bouts without allowing a touch. Currently, Jeff is a junior at West Point and is the captain of Army’s foil team.
Referees for the day were Charles Greene, Philip Butler, and two former U.S. Fencing Olympians – Ivan Lee (Olympian in 2004 and now a New York City police officer); and David Micahnik (Olympian in 1960, 1964, 1968, member of US Fencing Hall of Fame, and former coach of University of Pennsylvania’s fencing team).
This event marks the beginning of a new local tradition that our area will share with two of the nation’s most honored institutions. Marshal Davis, owner of Liberty Fencing Club and fencing coach at Swarthmore College, is responsible for presenting the idea for this annual event to Bob Grieser and Emil Petruncio, head coaches for the Army and Navy fencing teams respectively. Davis said, “This event was a great opportunity for people to see a collegiate fencing meet close to home and, most importantly, to support the future leaders and officers of our armed forces.”
Also on hand to compete against the Army and Navy teams in sabre and foil were three fencers representing the British Royal Marines. Accompanied by their coach Warren Keays-Smith, the “Royals” went tête-à-tête against members of the Army and Navy men’s and women’s teams.
The event concluded with a cookout for all of the fencers and referees, with food and refreshments provided by Liberty Fencing Club. It was an opportunity for all 3 teams to lay down their weapons, break bread and mingle.
Like the annual Army-Navy football classic which takes place in Philadelphia each year, Liberty Fencing Club has set the stage for future engagements in the exciting rivalry that Army-Navy athletics represents to our area.
About Liberty Fencing Club, LLC: Liberty Fencing Club offers programs designed to provide introductory, intermediate, and advanced training for one of the most fascinating, exciting, and safest sports. They offer both recreational & competitive programs for: youth (8 and up), adults, and seniors. Liberty Fencing Club, LLC has two locations- in Haverford, PA and Warrington, PA. For more information, visit: www.libertyfencingclub.com.