A record number of athletes competed at fencing's summer nationals in Columbus, Ohio including several members of the Illinois Fencers Club (IFC) who qualified to compete. Over 4,300 individual fencers ranging in age from nine to ninety as well as 300 teams participated in the national competition. This is the largest fencing competition of any kind in the world and takes place over 12 days from June 22nd to July 3rd. Only fencers who qualify are eligible to compete in the event and IFC sent 17 youth and veteran fencers to the competition.
IFC fencer Jack Gillman took 6th place in Division III Men's Epee in a field of 125 competitors. Gabe Weininger finished 29th in Junior Men's Epee, the biggest event, with 362 participants. Gabe faced fencers from the US, Canada and Italy only to be knocked out of the competition by the silver medal winner. Gabe's finish was the highest of any fencer from the state of Illinois. IFC veteran Bob Baldwin placed 7th in Vet 70+ Men's Epee, and is the 1st alternate athlete on the national team representing USA at the World Championships for Veterans later this year. John Lartz was 8th, while Tim Glass finished 9th in Vet 50-59 Men's Epee.
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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 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 formore 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.