This past weekend Houston was the site of the season kick-off for the United States Fencing Association’s Southwest Regional Youth Circuit. This highly competitive series features contests (referred to as bouts) between children aged 8 to14. They are grouped by weapon, age, and in some cases gender. Weapons consist of the traditional Olympic-style fencing swords of saber, epee, and foil, though often scaled down in size for the youngest competitors. The event drew children from as far away as Arizona.
Local fencers from the Salle Mauro Fencing Academy followed the guidance of head coach Mauro Hamza as he led them to numerous bronze, silver and gold medal finishes. Hamza, only recently returned from coaching the Egyptian Foil team during the Summer Olympics in Athens, and his staff appear to have their students off to another year of outstanding results as they compete in local, regional, national and international events.
Highlights of this weekend included gold medal finishes for David Filteau (Y10 Saber) and Michael Dudey (Y-12 Foil), and an incredible two golds for Elizabeth Donnenberg (Y12 and Y14 Women’s Epee). Christian McNamara (Y10 Men’s Foil), Michael Dudey (Y14 Foil), and Anna van Brummen (Y10 Women’s Epee) won silver medals. Bronze medalists included Signe Ferguson (Y10 Women’s Foil), Magnus Fergusson (Y12 Men’s Epee), Travis Overton (Y14 saber), Joe Peterson (Y10 Saber), Jack Hudson (Y10 Epee), and Christian McNamara (Y12 Foil). Fourth place medalists were Mexi Gremillion (Y10 Women’s Epee), Thomas Dudey (Y10 Men’s Foil), and Benjamin Freiman (Y12 Men’s Epee).
The next event on the circuit is in El Paso early next year. Series champions will be crowned in Houston late next spring at a season ending finale hosted by Salle Mauro Fencing Academy and held at Rice University. That event is open to the public.