On Sunday, April 28, the Illinois Fencers Club (IFC) held its 2013 Dominick Epee Challenge - the Chicago area's largest epee only fencing tournament. The tournament took place at the Lions Memorial Park in Mount Prospect with over 100 fencers from many states, ages 12 to 70, participating. The event included competitions for Senior Women's Epee, Senior Mixed Epee, Mixed Team Epee, and Y12 (aged 12 and under) Mixed Epee.
In Senior Women's Epee IFC's own Sammie Doro finished in 3rd place. IFC fencers AJ Mikkelson and Peter Kulaga took 1st place and 3rd place respectively in the Y12 Mixed Epee event.
The Senior Mixed Epee event with its 74 participants classified as an A2B3 event and brought 4 medals for IFC fencers. Maciek Zmyslowski placed 1st and renewed his "A" rating for 2013. Maciek, 22, has been with IFC for 8 years now and says that fencing is for him " a great source of friends as well as sport". In his own words fencing teaches him "patience, self-control, and tenacity" and he plans to "never stop". Aside from fencing he majors in chemistry/integrated science at Nortwestern University. Zmyslowski was immediately followed by his younger teammate Gabriel Weininger who took 2nd place. Gabe, now 15 years old, took up fencing when he was 8 after seeing a fencing scene in the movie "Parent Trap".
Also in the Senior Mixed Epee event David Vishny finished 6th and earned a new "C" rating, and Timothy Glass came in 7th place Additional recognition goes to Jakub Nowak and Andrew Jin for earning their "E" rating.
The United States Fencing Association system of rating fencers uses letters starting with an "A" rating for the highest rated fencer, followed by "B" and so on to "E." A beginner is unrated, as signified by a "U" rating. Ratings are achieved based upon the placement a fencer finished in at a tournament, the number of fencers who participated in the event and their ratings.
Seven teams competed in the Senior Mixed Team event. IFC fencers came away with both gold and silver medals as the team of Maciek Zmyslowski, Gabe Weininger, and Sasha Heber from IFC and Daniel Hurwitz from Northwestern University Club finished in first place, while the silver medal went to the team made up 3 young IFC fencers: Zimo Zhu, Andrew Jin and Jakub Nowak.
The 2013 Dominick Epee Challenge was the last largest tournament our fencers participated in before preparing for 2013 National USA Fencing Championships. The Nationals will be held June 28 to July 7 in Columbus, Ohio at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The championship, which is the largest fencing tournament in the world, is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and will host 3,500 participants between the ages of 8 and 80 and is the springboard for qualifying for the US Olympic Fencing Team.
As part of the preparation for Sumer Nationals in Ohio on June 15, 2013 IFC is offering an intensive fencing clinic. This one day clinic will provide an outstanding opportunity for those fencers who have qualified for the 2013 Summer Nationals to participate in a full day long event with a duration and intensity consistent with the type of workload that can be expected at the Summer Nationals.
The next IFC event will be the 2013 IFC Youth Tournament on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at the Central Community Center, 1000 W. Central Rd., Mount Prospect with competitions in all weapons including the following categories Y10 Mixed Epee, Y10 Mixed Foil, Y12 Mixed Epee, Y12 Mixed Foil, Y12 Mixed Saber, Y14 Mixed Epee, Y14 Mixed Foil, and Y14 Mixed Saber. This tournament is open to current USFA competitive members.
The Illinois Fencers Club promotes and teaches the Olympic sport of fencing to students of all ages and skill levels and provides a friendly venue for members to practice their sport. It is a member operated non-for-profit sports association that has been serving beginning, recreational, and competitive fencers for more than 40 years. The club meets in the Lions Recreation Center, 411 S. Maple St., Mt. Prospect, IL and can be found at www.IFCfencing.org and Facebook page.