Cal Poly’s fencing team not only hosted an intercollegiate tournament this weekend, but also dominated the team competition. Overall Cal Poly took first place honors in all three weapons, according to club president Casille Batten.

Individually for Cal Poly, Brian Davis took first place in the foil and Cash Fitzpatrick took first place in the sabre.

The fencing club hosted The Turkey Tourney Saturday in the Recreation Center. About 100 competitors representing at least six colleges participated in the event. The sport traces its roots to traditional dueling, according to the club’s website.

“It is both a mental and physical event,” says Batten, a Cal Poly senior who began studying fencing while living in the south of France. “It keeps you thinking and on your toes.” The fencing club is currently one of the top club teams in California, she added.

“We were the overall winners of the California Intercollegiate Club Championship last season and (recently) competed at a league tournament in Santa Cruz where we took first place honors in all three weapons,” Batten said.

Fencers compete in any of three different events, each using a different type of weapon (sword) and a different method of scoring points based on where the weapon strikes the opponent’s body.

The three weapons are the epee, the foil, and the sabre.

Club member’s experiences range from some who have been fencing since early childhood, to others who began this fall when they joined the club.

Andrew Cortado, a freshman environmental science major, began fencing in September when he arrived at Cal Poly and already has competed in two intercollegiate events.

“I had good teachers,” he said of the coaches and more experienced students who helped him. “It takes patience and dedication, but anyone can do it.”

Competitions are sometimes geared toward beginners.

The tournament on campus included an event specifically for novice fencers, meaning anyone with less than one-year experience could compete in their own division.

For those interested:

The club is open to all Cal Poly students and men and women compete against each other.

Instructional meetings are currently scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. in Mott Gym and bouting (practice fencing) is held on Saturdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

For more information visit the Cal Poly fencing Web site at www.fencing.calpoly.edu.

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