Mustangs hitting their stride after RMC Team Invitational

The gold medal-winning women’s épée team (L-R): Nicola Cheng, Jennifer Kaminker, Olga Nova, Evelyn Zheng.

The gold medal-winning women’s épée team (L-R): Nicola Cheng, Jennifer Kaminker, Olga Nova, Evelyn Zheng.

Nov 4, 2018

The Western Mustangs fencing team continued on their long road toward the OUA Championships this weekend, travelling down the 401 to compete in the RMC Team Invitational tournament in Kingston. The Mustangs sent 10 teams eastward to one of the most exciting weekends on the fencing calendar, and they showed pretty well against many of the university teams they’ll come up against at OUAs.

The highlight of the tournament for Western was surely the women’s épée team’s incredible run to a gold medal. Despite being seeded third out of the pool round, the side comprised of Olga Nova, Nicola Cheng, Jennifer Kaminker, and Evelyn Zheng took down the defending OUA champions, the University of Toronto’s A team, in the final to claim the top prize.

Just like the Mustang Invitational earlier in October, the RMC Invitational was a chance for some of Western’s rookie fencers to experience a large tournament against strong competition, including past OUA medallists, national team members, and fencers from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Plenty of Western’s teams placed well at the early-season tournament. A Mustang team finished sixth overall in men’s foil and épée, as well as women’s sabre and foil. The Western A team came eleventh in men’s sabre.

The Western A team came achingly close to the semi-finals after a very strong pool performance, falling 45-41 to Queen’s A in the quarters.

On top of that, the Mustang B teams finished ninth in women’s foil, fourteenth in women’s sabre, fifteenth in men’s épée, and twenty-first in men’s sabre. The weekend also featured an amusing bit of friendly fire, as the Western A and B teams came up against each other in their first elimination bout—the fencers, who had warmed up together, enjoyed a chance to test their mettle against their teammates.

Western’s varsity fencers—especially the rookies—will return to London with their heads held high, having added another successful tournament to their experience. Now that they’re up to speed, the Mustangs will kick their preparation up a notch in advance of the Western Open tournament, to be held in Thames Hall gym next Saturday, Nov. 10.