Intramural fencing event brings competition to men’s beginning class

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By Selina Affram

The men of the beginning fencing classes faced off against one another Nov. 16 to reveal the champion of the beginning men’s competition.

Fencing is an Olympic fighting sport which uses a foil and was rooted in the duel.

Two competitors face off in a bout and compete to score points on each other with their weapons.

A fencer must use blade work, footwork, tactics and strategy to obtain a victory.

The competitors were divided into the Monday-Wednesday-Friday class versus the Tuesday-Thursday class.

Competing were Daniel Collins, William Ziller, David Neville, Alex Whitson, Dennis Ingram and Dustin Olinick.

Fencing coach Steven Reyna said the men’s and women’s beginning intramurals were different in speed, technique and aggressiveness.

“I prefer to fence with the females rather than the guys because it’s about technique, not survival,” Reyna said.

He said the intramural event gives students a chance to put what they have learned in class to use.

To help the students have a feel for the sport, students fenced on the grass, which demands agile footwork.

Reyna said that 80 percent to 90 percent of fencing is foot work.

He said the difference between fencing with males and females is that women move at a slower pace, have small movements, fine motor awareness — which makes them cleaner fighters — and are in tune with accuracy.

The men are faster, which causes them to lose control, Reyna said, adding that male fencing can be ugly, with muddy actions.

There was a very competitive atmosphere in the gym as the men battled one another.

They used scare tactics, stomping to create an auditory distraction and were highly aggressive.

Fencers lunged, clashing and stabbing at body parts of their opponents.

A touch to the torso is the main way of accumulating points in a bout; when the head, neck, arms or legs are hit, no points are scored.

The audience of about 20 was full of energy and anticipation, some supported Ziller and others Ingram, but an unexpected turn of events surprised the spectators toward the end of the competition.

In the end, the fence-off between Olinick and Collins would determine the champion of the intramural.

If Collins won, there would have been a four-way tie for first place, which would result in a fence-off between Olinick, Collins, Ziller and Ingram.

On the other hand, if Olinick won, he would be the champion.

As the bout between Olinick and Collins proceeded, the crowd yelled and cheered on their favorite competitor.

The score was a tie and the bout was down to “the beautiful touch,” meaning that the bout would come down to one touch. Reyna had predicted the bout would come down to one touch.

The fencers performed equally well, but Olinick walked away victorious scoring 5-4.

First place was Dustin Olinick, second was William Ziller and third was Dennis Ingram.

Reyna said in fencing, the number of points scored in each bout and the number of bouts won play an almost equal amount of importance in the outcome.

Reyna said in the end, emotions ran the gamut; some were upset, and others satisfied, but it was a strong fencing competition.

Reyna will be teaching fencing in the spring.

For more information, visit the Candler Physical Education Center or call 733-2770.


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