Make it 18 years in a row.
The fencing team won the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association championship this weekend for the 18th straight year. The Owls won the team title, all three squad titles and three individual titles.
“There is a lot of pressure to continue the streak and the girls take pride in doing well at the tournament and doing their best,” coach Nikki Franke said.
Junior sabre Tiki Kastor, senior épée Chantal Montrose and senior foil Epiphany Georges all won gold medals to capture individual titles. Montrose and Georges have won an individual title each year at the competition.
“Everyone contributed to the team victory…it’s our last team event of the year so it was nice to end with a win,” Franke said.
Sophomore foil Olivia Wynn, who won her first direct elimination bout, finished eight, freshman epee Noelle Baptiste finished in fourth and senior sabre Andrea Haley finished eighth.
The championship, which is the oldest continuously-contested collegiate championship in any sport, is a good way for the team to prepare for the NCAA Regional, which takes place on March 8. All 17 fencers qualified for the NCAA Regional but only 12 can be sent to the event.
“That is one of our team goals,” Franke said. “To make sure everyone is eligible…we are in a strong region…it will be a tough competition for us.”
Michael Guise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MikeG2511.