While many will be carving there way through long lines at the mall this weekend, the women’s fencing team will be carving away at the competition in the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association Christmas Invitational at Drew University in Madison, NJ.
The NIWFA was founded in 1929, by Julia Jones and Dorothy Hafner of New York University and Elizabeth Ross of Cornell University.
The purpose in creating the organization was to promote women’s intercollegiate fencing and sponsor an annual championship.
18 schools are registered members of the organization including Tufts University, Cornell University, and Vassar College.
The Christmas Invitational allows schools to enter six fencers from each weapon category.
The tournament is more developmental than competitive, sanctioning only those fencers with a ranking of a “C” or below in the United States Fencing Association.
All six finalists are awarded a Julia Jones Medal, in honor of the co-founder and inaugural NIWFA championship winner.
At last year’s tournament, the Owls had an excellent showing, as all of the fencers ranked below 17th place.
In the epee competition, junior Sara Forsythe led the squad finishing in second place while junior Stephanie Sargent finished not far behind her in fifth.
Sophomore Kera Luckhardt finished 17th.
Cornell graduate Patricia Blumenamer took first place in the epee division while Cornell senior Erica Gale took third.
Four Owls dueled their way to the top four spots in the foil category: graduate Stefanie Izzolino, junior Nerita Brumell, and sophomores Jeanne Browne Nnennaya Okoro won first, second, third and fourth place, respectively.
Sophomore Katrina Najm finished 11th, but will try her luck in the epee competition this year.
As for sabre, graduate Sara Ironman finished sixth, sophomore Amanda Gerwer finished 13th and Senior Nicole Macomber finished 16th.
Junior Aziza Hassan took a first place finish for the second consecutive year, and looks to make it a three-peat this year.
Steve Papurt can be reached at email@example.com.