A crucial piece to understanding Chantal Montrose’s success comes from something she calls her “book.”
Immediately after every match, she writes down information about her bout score, opponent, result and other notes.
“I’ve been doing that since early high school,” the senior épée said. “It’s a very detailed book and it’s a tradition I do. It helps me think about what just happened and, if it was a bad bout, let go of that and if it was a good bout I can remember all the good stuff.”
Montrose’s attention to detail is not unknown around the team. Assistant coach Anastasia Ferdman credited the success Montrose has seen this season to her “maturity” and “smarts.”
“She is really understanding the game,” Ferdman said. “She understands what she is good at and she is really good at using that. That is the essence of being a good fencer.”
Montrose and her ability to be a leader by example is another quality that has been attached to her.
“She will do everything first, even when not asked,” Ferdman said. “She is just a good role model and all the girls follow her.”
Before fencing, Montrose did ballet. Her mother signed Montrose up for summer lessons at the fencing academy next to the dance studio where she learned ballet. As an 8 year old, her understanding of the sport was unclear.
“My mom told me it was sword fighting … I imagined broad swords and shield. It was very different than what I thought as an 8 year old,” Montrose said.
As the summer lessons continued for a few years, Montrose discovered that she found something special.
“It’s something I’ve been doing for so long that I can’t imagine myself doing anything else,” Montrose said. “It kind of freaks me out. I associate so much of myself and who I am with the sport that I don’t know who I would be without it.”
Montrose, who is an advertising major at Temple with a minor in art, was originally attracted to Temple for its architecture program.
“That was what initially drew me to Temple, and then I met with [coach Nikki Franke] and she was great, and I really didn’t realize how awesome of a team it was until I got here,” Montrose said.
With the season winding down, Montrose’s tenure as an Owl is coming to an end. But she is not going down without a fight. The motto that Franke uses, “Respect everyone – fear no one” is guiding Montrose to her goals, she said.
“It’s a great piece of advice, you can lose to anyone,” Montrose said. “You have to prepared [for] every bout.”
Michael Guise can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MikeG2511.