Harker students competed in various events over the summer and two attended the 2017 USA Fencing National Championships in Salt Lake City in July.
Nerine Uyanik, grade 10, took a pair of top medals in all-ages events. Her first event was fencing in Division II women’s foil (fencers must be rated C or lower; the scale runs from A, at the top, to E, and U for unclassified), against 147 other women of all ages. Uyanik took the silver medal, improving her rating from a “D” to a highly sought after “B.” She won most elimination bouts decisively, 15-7, 15-9, 7-6 (tough one!), 15-7 and 5-4 (another tough one!). Then a bit of luck, her opponent in the semifinal withdrew, leaving Uyanik fighting in the final, where she succumbed 12-4.
The next day, Uyanik improved on her win to take top honors, the gold medal, in Division III (fencers, age 13 and up, rated D and lower, but Uyanik qualified as a D so was able to fence). In the field of 140 fencers, Uyanik won five out of six pool bouts, had a bye in the first elimination round, then took off, winning 15-5, 15-11, 9-8, 14-12, and, finally, 15-9.
Three days later, Uyanik fenced in the highly competitive Y-14 women’s foil category, and finished No. 59 out of 219 entries. She is ranked No. 54 in the nation in the Y-14 category. Division II and III categories are not nationally ranked.
Meanwhile, Jerrica Liao, grade 12, an A-rated fencer, competed in two tough events, taking 78th out of 185 fencers in junior women’s foil (up to age 19), where she started off winning four out of six pool bouts, earning a bye in the first elimination round, but losing in round two to the eventual 16th place winner.
Two days later, Liao finished her season fencing in Division I (which also requires qualification) among 96 competitors, where Olympians qualify. She finished 78th, a very respectable finish considering the hundreds of fencers who didn’t even qualify for the event. Liao is ranked 66th in the nation in junior women’s foil and 94th in the nation in senior women’s foil. Please congratulate these hard-working swordswomen when you see them!
This year’s National Championships, held July 1-10 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, hosted more than 4,000 fencers from across the United States who competed in more than 80 events.