On June 2nd, 2013 Illinois Fencers Club (IFC) hosted the 2013 IFC Youth Fencing Tournament. Many young fencers, boys and girls, age 8 to 14 competed in all three weapons: epee, foil and saber. Illinois Fencers Club members came away with several medals. In the Y12 Mixed Epee category 13 year old Alexander J. Mikkelson (AJ) from Arlington Heights won 1st place while his teammate, 11 year old Peter Kulaga from Niles took bronze. These two fencers also took the lead in Y12 Mixed Foil, where again AJ took gold, and Peter Kulaga finished second.
AJ, two time gold medalist, has been training in both foil and epee for 3 years now. He enjoys the "mental aspect of training" and fencing has become "a big part in (his) life and a big commitment." "Good spirit and leadership" are what make him stay with IFC.
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Peter Kulaga has been fencing at IFC for 3 years as well. He says that "fencing teaches (him) how to be quick minded and think up strategies". He plans to "keep fencing through (his) whole life."
In Y14 Mixed Epee, 14 year old Zimo Zhu from Buffalo Grove placed 2nd and Jakub Nowak from Schaumburg, also 14, was third.
The Y14 Mixed Foil category was dominated by IFC fencers as well. All three medals, gold, silver, and bronze were awarded respectively to Jakub Nowak, mentioned above, Andrew Vold (age 14) from Lake Forest and Marco Mendoza (age 14) from Wheeling.
A week later, on June 9th, 2013, IFC fencers competed in two different events. At Windy City Youth and Open Epee Tournament Jakub Nowak paced 1st in Y14 Mixed Epee, and David Vishny (age 16) from Winnetka won the bronze medal. At the Red Star C & Under Senior Mixed Foil competition Toni Coonrod (age 18) from Lombard went home with bronze.
Illinois Fencers Club offers a wide range of fencing classes for beginners, intermediate, advanced, and competitive fencers. They are open to members and the public. Fencing equipment (jackets, gloves, masks, and weapons) is furnished free, however, most advanced students elect to own their own equipment. All classes are held at Lions Recreation Center in Mount Prospect.
The IFC Youth Program is athlete-centered with a holistic approach to student development. Its dual focus promotes athletic progress as well as personal growth. The club provides a fun and safe environment, so that participants can enjoy a gradual learning experience. The positive class atmosphere created by the coaches allows students to master the sport of fencing while learning self-awareness, the skills needed to appropriately navigate social interactions, life lessons about cooperation and competition, and how to handle winning and losing in a healthy manner. Our high school graduates move on to some prestigious universities such as Duke, MIT, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Purdue.
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 on their Facebook page.