Samantha Myles got a phone call she
Coach Nikki Franke called the junior
Foilist last Friday night, less than a day before the NCAA Fencing Championships to tell Myles she had been awarded an at-large spot.
“I was very excited,” Myles said. “It was a
chance I didn’t think I was going to get.”
Myles finished 23rd overall for Temple
and was one of four Owls to compete in the
Championships last weekend at Drew University in Madison, N.J. The Owls finished 12th out of 24 teams.
Temple also sent junior Kristine Jones
and two freshmen to the Championships.
In their first seasons, Christie Griffith
and Melissa Parker, who finished ninth overall in the Foil competition and was an honorable mention All-American, were happy to advance.
“Everyone was a challenge,” Parker said
of the field. “I wanted to place in the top 8.”
The top 8 were named All-Americans and
Parker sat in eighth place after the first day.
She slipped to ninth, but was still given an honorable mention.
She said she had mixed reactions to the
“I was excited,” she said. “At same time, I
wanted to place eighth.”
Franke was proud each of her athlete’s
“We are very pleased to have all four girls
in the competition,” Franke said. “It’s very important to our program.”
Griffith placed 20th in the Sabre. As a
freshman, she realizes that she has plenty of upside.
“I’m pretty happy with how I finished,”
she said. “I’m looking forward to next season; it’s a good start to my career.”
All four competitors were in the Championships for the first time, which Franke said will only help them later in their careers.
“It was an extremely tough competition,”
said Franke, a 35-year coach.
“I’m impressed how tough they were. It’s
a good start, they all return next year and it’s very good experience for them.”
Jones led the Owls with a 19th place finish
in the Sabre. In her first Championship experience, she didn’t know what to expect.
“I was really happy to qualify,” she said.
“I didn’t have a specific goal. I was really pleased.”
With no seniors on the team, the Owls are ready for an even better season next year. In addition to the four fencers who took part in the competition, two others took part the season before.
“It means a lot to each of us and as a team,” Jones said. “It shows that we are strong and a force to be reckoned
“It really helps them moving forward,” assistant coach Bradley Baker said. “We’ll come back next year and improve
on our results.”
For Franke, the future looks bright.
“It helps us [having] girls with more confidence,” Franke said. “It helps with the experience. It also helps in recruiting. It helps all the way around.”
“We’re going to take this and build on it,” Baker added.
Pete Dorchak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.