Kingston, Ontario - The 50th OUA Women’s Fencing Championship got underway on Saturday, hosted at the Kingston Military Sports Complex by the RMC Paladins in Kingston, Ont., with a buzz of excitement in the air, as fencing resumed competition in the OUA for the first time in two years.
If the individual competition is any indication, the Banner will be hard-won this year, as the Western Mustangs are giving repeat champions Toronto Varsity Blues a run for their money after Day 1.
The Varsity Blues were unable to win any gold medals in the individual competition, but managed to finish on the podium in each discipline. Any student-athlete who finishes in the Top 16 in the individual competition earns some points for their team, with the metric heavily skewed to the best finishers.
Toronto faired best in sabre, where Rebecca Jeffrey claimed silver, and teammates Isadora Falkson, Astrid Chandler and Janna Elshakankiri finished fourth through sixth. Leanna Lui was unable to repeat as the epee champion, but defeated national bronze medalist Emily Mason from Queen’s to earn OUA bronze. Rounding out the Varisty Blues medalists, Kimberly Cheung won bronze in foil.
Western earned four medals on the opening day of the Championship, led by their epee fencers Evelyn Zheng and Yiling Yang, who finished with gold and silver medals, respectively. Lily Liu repeated as the gold medalist in sabre for the Mustangs, while Serena Fang nabbed silver in foil.
The Rams earned the gold in foil, as Erika Dominguez claimed top spot. Dominguez represented half of the Rams contingent at the championship, so they won’t be a factor in the team competition or the overall banner.
The battle for overall bronze will be hotly contested, however, after Queen’s, RMC and Brock all finished Day 1 within 10 points of each other.
Of those teams, Queen’s was the only team to have someone find the podium in the individual portion of the championship, as Caroline Whitehead squeezed between a host of Varsity Blues to win bronze in sabre.
RMC had two student-athletes land in the Top 8, led by former Mustang Joanna Kasprzak, who was seventh in epee. Jenna Kane was the best Paladin in sabre, placing eighth, while twin sister Alyssa Kane was also the best RMC competitor in her discipline, ending up 12th in foil.
Brock’s top finisher was Sara Fellman in foil, who won the consolation final to take fifth spot. The Badgers veteran had started the day going undefeated in her first round of Poules.