Monday, February 23, 2009

Mid-South Tournament

Sunday I fenced in the Mid-South 2nd Annual Open.

I headed out before the light of dawn and the cold was the final thing I needed to wake me up, after life giving caffeine and a hot shower.

I arrived at Mid-South with time to spare and I had a plan. I would park in back and leave my fencing kit in the car. It would be out of the way and I could get to it as needed. The club would be crowded with fencers and equipment, as it would be one of the largest epee events that the state has had lately. It was a good plan. I had thought ahead. Sadly, as I pulled around back, I saw all the mud. I did not think Matt and Jen would be to happy with my forward thinking, if I tracked muddy footprints all through their club.

I went to plan "B", which was haul my stuff in like every one else.

51 people had preregistered and 45 people showed to fence. It was an A2 event. (That is a high level fencing tournament.) I went for the strip time and to fence people I do not fence often. And of course the most important reason of all, to have some fun.

There were so many people that the pools were flighted. I was lucky enough to be in the first round of pools. It was a pool of 5.

My best weapons grounded or failed as the pool began. I give up on the damn things and will take them to next weekends NAC and get a pro to work on them.

Pool results were strange. As I remember it, everyone but one guy that had no wins, had 3 victories. I know I beat someone I should not have beaten and lost to someone when I should have won. And.....pools are done.

In the initial seed I was ranked 24th and after pools I was seeded at 23. I guess that was progress of a sort.

My first DE was against a kid with a unorthodox style. I fenced French grip against him as he was taller than me and as it was the best of my working weapons. I also fenced French because the number 10 seed that I would fence next (should I win) was
watching me fence and I wanted to change up a bit if I made it to that bout.

I won that DE and moved on.

I would like to state at this point that at my level of fencing there is a certain amount of luck involved in fencing tournaments. I know that if I had fenced some other fencers in my first DE, I would most likely have been at the Blue Dinner off I-40 enjoying a delicious peanut butter milkshake around lunch time.

On to the next DE. I would face the number 10 seed Meredith Randazzo.

Meridith and I have gotten to know each other a little bit and have become friends,but we have never fenced each other. We had fun doing fake " stare downs" before our bout.

I had really only seen her fence one time other than a warm up at a Raleigh event. It was two years ago when she won the Iron Maiden in Wilmington. I have a good memory in regards to fencers. I remembered from that event that she likes to offer a cuff shot invitation and that she has great "takes".

I had no plan going into our bout, but I got a point or two ahead at one time and I made up my mind that I would never attack again unless I was up by two points or I just could not help myself. (This was out of respect for her ability to take a blade.) Frankly, I do not remember the entire bout in great detail, but as the bout continued, she tied it back up. I managed to get a point or so ahead and I kept it to win by a score of 15-14. Meridith is a good fencer and I know that if we went at it again, more than likely the win would be hers. I was having a good day.

My third DE was against Michael Glapion. Not much to say about this one. He beat me soundly and he ended up tied for 5th place in the tournament. I did make a toe touch which made me feel a bit better. That must be the Tommy Dietz influence.

And...........I am done for the day.

I ended up in 15th place. I never thought that I would finish in the top 16. Luck was a factor. A lot of people that could mop the floor with me finished lower. On the other hand, I have bad luck in tournaments from time to time. I guess it all balances out.

My knee held up pretty well. I took some industrial strength medicine when I had dinner and except for something moving once in a while today, there was rarely any pain.

I did not move well (footwork wise) when I fenced, but I think that was largely due to being concerned if I was going to mess my knee up before next weekends NAC.

If I were Matt or Jen, I would paint a one and half foot wide blue path from the rear landing to the bathroom. On that blue path I would write: "You may stand any place in our club that does not interfere with fencing or on this blue strip. The exception being, that you are in line to the bathroom. If you are fixing a broken epee on this blue path, that will be an automatic black card."

I had a good time at this tournament. It was well run, as you would expect from Mid-South. Keeping things running smoothly was no small accomplishment with the large turn out that came to fence.

It was a day well spent.


Meredith D. said...

You fenced valiantly, Jim. I hope I get a rematch sometime! Good luck at the NAC, I wish I could go.

Anonymous said...

Yes I did check the tournament results on Monday morning. I was very proud of your finish....job well done!


kathz said...

Brilliant result - congratulations!

maestro said...

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Philip J. Daly