While the world’s best winter athletes battled it out in Salt Lake City, three Yale fencers traveled to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the Junior Olympic Championships over the weekend.
Squaring off against competitors from across the nation, women’s captain Zane Selkirk ’04, Erica Korb ’05 and Byron Igoe ’04 achieved strong finishes as each placed in the top 20 of their respective divisions.
The Junior Olympics is a competition in which fencers under the age of 20 either qualify through their home districts or petition for a spot in the event based on past performance. Selkirk and Igoe came to the championships as part of the Metro New York City region’s contingent, while Korb qualified from Philadelphia.
Fighting over a hundred competitors in each of their weapon divisions, the trio represented both their regions and Yale fencing well. Monday in the Junior Women’s Epee, Korb finished 17th, while on the previous day Selkirk placed 13th out of 152 in the Junior Women’s Foil.
“I was happy with parts of my performance and unhappy with others,” Selkirk said. “I had a perfect record in the pools in the first round, but ended up facing one of the strongest fencers in the direct elimination round.”
Selkirk fell to second place finisher Andrea Ament of Indiana University.
Due to the sheer number of fencers in the Championships, top seeds were forced to match up against each other earlier in the direct elimination round, making it harder for the Eli fencers to advance.
Friday, Igoe finished 14th out of 142 in the Junior Men’s Saber.
This Saturday, Selkirk, Korb and Igoe will rejoin the Elis as they face off against Harvard and Princeton in Cambridge, Mass.
The Tigers should pose a strong threat, especially in the epee.
“It’s going to be a hard day of fencing,” men’s captain Cameron Hill ’02 said. “Princeton is always a strong program. But overall, I think we are every bit a match for Princeton. It would be great to win as the seniors on the team have never beaten them.”
Selkirk, like Hill, is confident in the Elis chance against the Tigers and Crimson.
“I think that we can win against both schools,” Selkirk said. “I feel good about our chances and think that we can take the meet if we all keep it together this week.”