Fencing: LAFC picks up four Junior Olympic nods

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By The Staff

Several members of the Los Alamos Fencing Club qualified for the United States Fencing Association Junior Olympics recently.

Seth Longo, Farida Ismail, Kyle Partin and Ciara Sterbenz all picked up qualification marks at a tournament held Dec. 5-6 in Albuquerque. The event attracted most of the top youth fencers from the New Mexico division.

Ismail finished second behind Anna Olesinkski of Roswell, the state’s top female youth fencer, in both the junior women’s epee and cadet women’s epee, but still qualified for the Junior Olympics in both categories.

Longo finished second in cadet men’s epee at this qualification tournament.

“Seth Long had his best competition performance yet,” LAFC coach Tom Hill said. “He racked up four 5-1 touch victories in all his pool bouts to seed out No. 1 into the direct elimination tableau and pushed the eventual winner to the wall before losing 15-12 in the DE finals. He definitely turned some heads down there at the qualifiers.”

Competing in their first tournaments, Partin and Sterbenz also made the Junior Olympic field. Partin qualified in cadet men’s foil, while Sterbenz qualified in cadet women’s epee.

The Junior Olympics will be held at the Albuquerque Convention Center in February.