This December 13, two fencers from Heritage went to the Junior Olympics, Marleena Trail ’16 and Brendan Allen ‘16.
“It was fun but really cold!” says Trail.
It was located in Cleveland, Ohio this year, but it varies from year to year, last year being in Richmond, Virginia.
Though they both fence, Allen and Trail train at different academies.
“I belong to the South Denver Fencing Academy, while Marleena is part of the Fencing Academy of Denver,” says Allen.
Allen and Trail made it to the Junior Olympics by qualifying at the Denver Fencing Center.
They both placed in the 10th percentile at the JOs.
Fencing is a sport where athletes strike each other with swords to score points. It is based on dueling, though now it has transformed into a fun and safe sport, with rules and gear that keep athletes from harm. The weapons are very light and thin, so that fencers can move quickly and not cause permanent damage to their opponents. Good fencers must be fast and precise. They must be the first to hit their opponent with their sword in order to receive a point. After a hit they go back to their starting spots and began again. The bout lasts until fifteen points or time runs out.
There are three types of fencing swords, and the style depends upon the sword type: saber, foil and épée. Most athletes specialize in one style. Allen competes in foil and Trail specializes in saber.
Allen has been fencing for seven years.
“I want to continue fencing after high school,” Allen says.
Trail has been fencing for five years now but does not know if she will continue.
“Many colleges do not offer fencing programs. I will continue to fence over the summer, then see what happens. I don’t want to become a professional fencer; I just enjoy competing,” says Trail.