All-American fencer juggles senior project and sport

All-American Alyssa Lomuscio received the opportunity to make her third appearance at the NCAA Fencing Championships on March 26 to 27 at Ohio State, but the Clinton, N.J. native said her senior season was met with near exhaustion.

As a film and media major, Lomuscio had the task of balancing time for her senior film project, while staying in top form on the fencing strips.

“It was extremely challenging to find time to film around our heavy tournament schedule,” Lomuscio said in an e-mail. “Honestly it just meant that I would sacrifice sleep a lot to get things done for the film.”

The film is a fictional narrative that she wrote entitled, “A Jaded Life,” which is about a young man named Trevor who suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Lomuscio said the film looks to change the perception of OCD, while she personally associates with the disorder.

“The character isn’t real, but basically the way he behaves and uses the OCD, it’s real in that sense,” Lomuscio said. “[The film] comes from a lot of stuff that I do, stuff that I’ve read, stuff that I’ve seen other people do and I’ve kind of taken that and kind of combined it to make the character.”

Last season Lomuscio, who competes in foil, finished as a second team All-American for the Owls at the national competition. This year has posed a challenge, as the field of 72 competitors at the championships consisted of many unfamiliar faces, as several underclassmen made their debut. Lomuscio finished the second day of competition in 16th place, claiming nine victories.

“I was very excited to qualify for championships,” Lomuscio said. “I didn’t necessarily think I would because there is a two person per squad limit and I was ranked third on my squad after season. So I focused all my energy on regionals and was able to qualify.”

At the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional Tournament on March 10 at Lafayette College, Lomuscio punched her ticket to nationals with a team-best sixth-place finish in her field. But, the week before regionals involved finishing a “rough cut” of shooting her film project and wrapping up a fundraiser, which raised more than $2,250 for her film production.

“I feel like, this year more than ever, I found my mind on different things during practice and some competitions,” Lomuscio said. “I wouldn’t say that it horribly affected my performance, however, it was the first time that fencing was not the main priority in my life and seeing as fencing is a very mental sport it took some getting used too.”

In the end, Lomuscio found similarities between her fencing teammates and production crew for her film project. She said the production team hopes to finish the film later this month.

“Everyone on the crew had their own function and all of them were very good at what they do,” Lomuscio said. “It made it so I was able to trust that everyone would do their job and do it well, just like on the team how we all trust each other to give our all each and every bout.”

-Connor Showalter

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