Ben Parkins at Junior World Cup, Madrid, Spain

Congratulation to Ben for the 8th place!

Junior World Cups are the most competitive and challenging tournaments for youth fencers. Restricted to top fencers between the ages of 17 and 20, a select few younger fencers can compete depending on skill level. This was Ben Parkins second Junior World Cup for this season.

The results continue to roll in for our international junior programs. The junior men’s foil team traveled to Spain on November 18, 2006. They competed in the “Comunidad de Madrid” junior world cup and for the first time all 12 team members made the top 32 and earned international FIE points at this event. The strength of the American junior foil program has been steadily increasing over the years but recent results in this year’s competition in Madrid are clear evidence of that fact.There were four American fencers in the final including Gerek Meinhardt and Ariel DeSmet who finished tied for third. Steve Kubik and Ben Parkins finished seventh and eighth. The champion was Martino Minuto of Italy. The strong results for team USA also included the following: Miles Chamley-Watson 10th, Sam Perkins 12th, Enzo Castellani 13th, Dorian Cohen 17th, Nick Chinman 19th, David Willette 24th, Zach Schirtz 28th, and Bagley Wright 32th.

Ours Spanish hosts, Jesús Maestro esquina and Juan Vigón, organized and outstanding event with the finals showcased on a raised piste in the Salle Omnisports at the “Estadio Vallehermoso”. This event was exciting and thrilling for our junior men’s foil fencers and gave them the feeling of fencing in world class event with TV coverage at a first rate venue. Accommodations at the host Hôtel NH Argüelles were also excellent. The team was accompanied by Head Coach Mauro Hamza and several individual coaches including Wendell Kubik, Greg Massialas, Michael Pacheco, and Rolando Balboa. The US referees were Peter Burchard and Francisco Martin.

This team of outstanding fencers, coaches, referees, and parents worked very well together in Madrid. There was plenty of support for the fencers and lots of camaraderie. The team unity and spirit included team dinners and breakfast before the competition. The team walked together to the venue from the hotel and endured the crush of the human wall at the weapons control which was the only negative part of the trip. There was no line and the fencers just pushed their way to the front. Once a fencer got to the front, he would hold his position until his teammates passed up their equipment. It was a chance to learn the Euro method for equipment check-in. I think our fencers will prefer the long lines at our North American cups in the future. It took over an hour to get equipment checked for 66 fencers but it provided a good warm-up for the fencing. Everybody worked up a good sweat except for the parents and coaches who were waiting outside in the rain.