5 QUESTIONS WITH…Allie Hessberger About The Milford Fencing Club
By Maeve Rourke – Sports Editor
The Milford High School Fencing Club recently had a big weekend at the annual Guilford Novice Fencing Tournament with Law senior Allie Hessberger winning the women’s epee division in her first ever tournament. Advocate Sports Editor Maeve Rourke spoke with Hessberger about her victory.
Maeve Rourke: How and when did you get into fencing?
Alexandra Hessberger: I just started fencing this year. The season started in November. I got into it because my friends Kavitha (Mohanarajan) and Paula (Perez) fence too.
MR: How do you practice for big events such as at the competition at Guilford?
AH: Before a competition we focus and practice on perfecting what we are good at and correcting basic form. We also reviewed the rules and equipment we needed to bring.
MR: Why do you enjoy fencing?
AH: Fencing is fun because I like being active and it requires me to analyze my opponent. Fencing will never get boring or be repetitive because there are so many different fencing styles and you have to change your style to beat your opponents.
MR: Do you plan on attending any more competitions in the near future?
AH: I’m going to the state tournament on March 3rd.
MR: How do fencing competitions usually operate?
AH: Large competitions start with pools where people are grouped randomly into pools (usually between 4-6 people) and you fence everyone in the pool for either up to five touches or until three minutes run out. Based on performance, the top 80% go on to the bracket-style tournament. In the tournament, you fence to 15 touches or until three sets of three minutes with one minute breaks in between passes. If you win, you move on; if you lose, you are done. There are three types of fencing (foil, epee, and saber) and they are separated by gender. The Top 8 of each group get an award.