Harker junior Jerrica Liao had a pair of very respectable finishes at the January North American Circuit event in Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend. Liao, an A-rated foilist with scores of tournaments behind her, finished 63rd of 166 fencers the senior event, which includes international and Olympic fencers and is largely composed of collegiate and older fencers. She had a great finish at No. 24 in the junior event.
In the senior event, Liao split her pool – three wins and three losses – seeding 98th, then flipped her 33rd-seeded opponent out of the 64 bracket by a score of 10-4, putting herself into the 64th slot. She then lost to one of the top foilists in the country to end her day.
Two days later, in the junior event, Liao won five of her six pool bouts and, in a reversal of her senior event, seeded 33rd, and cleaned up her first elimination bout against the 96th seed, 15-7. Liao went on to again flip up a bracket, beating the 32 seed to move into the top 32. Then, in a twist of fate, she fell to the No. 1 seed, the same fencer who defeated her in the senior event earlier in the week, putting Liao at No. 24, a very solid finish.
The points earned at senior events count toward National Team membership. Liao is just breaking into the senior events as she ages out of the cadet category (up to age 17). She has been fencing for many years and trains at Silicon Valley Fencing Club. Liao is nationally ranked in three categories: 56th in cadet, 74th in junior and 98th in senior – and it is early in the season. Go, Jerrica!