Schlesinger leads Vikings at home fencing meet

The Vikings squared off with, and beat, many big name college programs.

Photo by Caroline Garrow.

It was a busy weekend for the Lawrence University Men’s and Women’s Fencing teams as they hosted two events in the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center. On Saturday they hosted the Lawrence Duals, a collegiate team competition, that featured fencing teams from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa and Northwestern University. Sunday’s competition was an individual competition open to all fencers. Senior and men’s team captain Jack Calkwood said, “It is always very exciting to host a home event. There are few fencing events as big as the LU open in the Appleton area and it is a blast to compete against other teams in our own gym. For the past two years the Lawrence duels and the Lawrence open have turned out really well.”

On Saturday, the women’s fencing team won both of their duals as they beat both the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota by margins of 24-3 and 23-4, respectively. Against Wisconsin and Minnesota, the sabre team of junior Allison Kim, first-year Lexi Praxl and first-year Samantha Hansen went 8-1 in their bouts. The épée team of junior Carson Becker, sophomore Margaret Wright and sophomore Mia Wu went 7-2 against Wisconsin and 6-3 against Minnesota.

On the men’s side of the competition, Lawrence won two of their duals while dropping two other duals. The Vikings beat Wisconsin 16-11 behind an undefeated performance from the foil team of senior Nathan Schlesinger, Calkwood and sophomore Alex Loundry and an épée team of sophomore Vinzenz Mayer, sophomore Cameron Maas and first year Noah Bradley that went 7-2. Lawrence also beat the University of Iowa 17-1. The Vikings lost two close duals to the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University, 13-14 and 11-13, respectively.

On Sunday, Lawrence was led by Schlesinger who won the title in mixed sabre and place second in mixed foil. In mixed épée, junior Jakub Nowak was second and Maas was third. Lawrence also had strong performances from Kim and Praxl who tied for third in mixed sabre. Other top finishers for the men were Mayer who took sixth in mixed épée, Loundry who was sixth in mixed foil, Bradley who took ninth in mixed épée and Calkwook who was ninth in mixed épée. On the women’s side, sophomore Bea Gee and senior Ariana Calderon-Zavala were the other top finishers as they were tenth in mixed foil and tenth in mixed sabre, respectively.

This was a very strong performance for the team as Calkwood remarked, “Our results this year were spectacular. Lawrence fencers filled most of the top spots in every event and many of our squads went undefeated against other schools.” Calkwook added, “It would be amazing to see the event get even bigger. This year the turnout was great, but it really has the potential to draw many more schools and a lot more fencers.”

For the fencers on the team at Lawrence, the competitions are really their time to shine. Calkwood explains, “I enjoy fencing at Lawrence because of how competitive it is. We not only work with and compete with our teammates every day at practice, but we are also able to compete against fencers from Division I schools, like Ohio State, in our conference.”

This weekend closed out the competitions for the team for Fall term, and they will be back in action again in January.