Sarah Followill Rising Star at Salle Mauro

It’s hard to believe that 2006 is over. It’s been a great year for Sarah and her fencing. It was her last year in the Y12 age category, and she really showed how hard work can pay off. She began 2006 traveling to Birmingham to fence in one of the Southeast RYCs where she finished 2nd and 3rd in Y12 and Y14 mixed foil, respectively. She then went on a traveling spree and fenced in two Super RYCs and the Youth NAC all within a month. She placed 2nd and 5th in the two SRYCs and 6th at the NAC in women’s Y12 foil. As one of the Moms of one of Sarah’s competitors and friend said, “It was nice to see a new face on the medal stand for once.” Sometimes with success comes pain. I know that Sarah would like to issue a word of caution to all young fencers since she injured her back during the NAC. The word of caution would be to STRETCH! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, stretching plays a very important role for any competitive fencer. Sarah did not fence hard or competitively again until after a lot of therapy, advil and core muscle exercises (2½ months). She fenced in the Summer Nationals and placed 10th in women’s Y12 foil.

Starting in September, Sarah was out of the Y12 category, but now eligible for cadet and any of the open tournaments. She went to Memphis to fence in the Div II and Div III NAC where she placed 26th and 12th, respectively. In the Div III competition, Sarah lost to a very close friend, 15-13 to not get in the top 8, but winning isn’t always a priority. When you watch the two girls give each other a warm hug after the last touch, you know that our young fencers are learning more about life than just fencing. She finished tied for 3rd at the Longhorn open in Austin and 2nd at the Bayou City Fencing Academy “D and under” tournament. Recently at the NAC in Albuquerque, she came out of pools in the women’s Y14 foil seeded 56th and ended up placing in the top 16. Perseverance and hard work does pay off in the end.

Sarah just returned form the super RYC held in New Hampshire where she fenced in the women’s Y14 foil event which was a rated a B2 event. She did well in the pools coming out of them seeded 6th. She breezed through her first two Des 15 – 2 and 15 – 4, but to get in the top four, she was defeated 15-11 by the young lady who won the gold medal. To Sarah’s credit, no one else scored as many touches on the gold medal winner as Sarah did. Sarah ended up placing eighth which will help boost her National ranking. We hope to see her continue to do well this year.