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Showing Fencing to Penn State students

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FullSizeRender.jpgBy Jennifer Hudson, Student Athlete Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Not many people know about the sport of fencing, so some of the Penn State national championship team members put on a demonstration in professor Ron Johnson's business administration class on Tuesday to show how the sport works and promote the team.

Johnson usually shows a video before his classes but this week decided to change it up and give the students an opportunity to learn about fencing.

To start off the demonstration, Kacy Charpin, a freshmen saber fencer, explained what fencing is like and how it works. This allowed the class to learn the basics of what they would see in a fencing meet.

David Gomez-Tanamachi, a senior who represented Mexico in the World Championships in Russia over the summer, and Nicolas Graziano, a sophomore who represented Canada in the Canadian Nationals this summer, fenced a foil bout for everyone to see.

They showed all different actions which kept the audience intrigued.

"I thought it was great!" said Kindrah Kohne, a senior marketing and spanish major. "I've attended a fencing competition before and didn't know much about it, but today I learned a lot and can hopefully use what I learned today in the future when I attend an event."

Next up was an epee demonstration by Jessica O'Neill-Lyublinsky and Jessie Radanovich.

Both O'Neill-Lyublinsky and Radanovich represented Penn State in NCAA Championships in March, helping win the national title.

While a foil bout is a little faster pace and the fencers could only hit the torso area where their lames were, an epee bout allows for a touch anywhere on the body.

O'Neill-Lyublinksky and Radanovich fenced a strategical bout that showed how strong they were.

"I think it went really well," said Gomez. "Hopefully we will get to see a lot of the students supporting us at our upcoming home competition now that they have seen the demonstration."

Due to time constrictions, the team was not able to show what a saber bout, the third weapon, looked like but will get to in the future.

Johnson has allowed the fencing team to come into the start of two more of his classes this week.

In the beginning of MGMT 301 on Wednesday at 9:55 in 105 Forum and at the beginning of BA 342 at 2:15 in 100 Thomas, some members of the fencing team will show off the sport some more.

If you are interested in how fencing works or curious to see what a fencing bout looks like, spot by and check it out!

The next home meet for the team will be the Garret Open held in White Building on November 22-23 starting at 8 a.m.

Fencers Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Women In Sport

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fn_blog_1.jpgBy Jennifer Hudson, Student Athlete Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's fencing team participated in multiple events during the 50th Anniversary of Women in Sport earlier this month.

The weekend kicked off with a Friday reception at the Nittany Lion Inn, followed on Saturday by a breakfast at the All Sports Museum and a tailgate at Medlar Field before the UMass football game. Sunday concluded with a brunch and ceremony of the Women in Sports 50th Anniversary at the Bryce Jordan Center.

A few members on the current team volunteered for each event and were able to meet and talk to the alums of the team.

There were five decades of women's fencers that were represented at the events, the 1960s-2000s, so it was inspirational for everyone to learn about the fencing team then and now.

"Getting to know the alumni is always a great experience," said Clarisse Luminet, captain of the women's team. "Because of my position within the fencing team and my role as a captain, it was great to get feedback from their own experiences as leaders, and understand how that role has changed in 50 years."

Johanna Hall, a current assistant coach and Penn State fencing alumna (Class of '88), played a big role in organizing the event for everyone to enjoy.

"It allowed us to connect with former fencers as well as meet others on the team who paved the way for the program," said Hall. "Being recognized during the football game and being able to share that with hundreds of other women athletes from Penn State was very special."

Another alum, Beth Alphin, former head coach (1968-'85), was flattered she had the opportunity to speak at the Sunday brunch about coaching at Penn State "back then".

Like Alphin, the fencing alumni enjoyed themselves and even had the chance to meet up for a fencing dinner on Saturday evening.

"It was a true joy to see so many of the fencers and hear how their lives have progressed since Penn State," said Alphin. "I enjoyed watching them reconnect with each other. It should come as no surprise that upon meeting them it was as if no time had passed. We were family then and still today. I think my very favorite thing was watching the smiles and hearing the familiar laughs of people who were so much a part of my life for a few years."

The next time the current Penn State Fencing team will reconnect with the former fencers is April 18, 2015 in the annual alumni meet and team banquet.

Here are a list of accomplishments our Penn State women's fencing team has achieved over the years:

- 2 AIAW Team Championships

- 1 AIAW Individual Champion

- 1 NCAA Women's Team Championship

- 13 NCAA Men's and Women's Combined Team Championships

 - 9 Individual NCAA Champions (14 titles)

- 54 All-Americans (121 times)

- 11 World Championships participants (to 26 championships)

- 12 World University Games participants (to 15 championships)

- 3 Olympians (to 5 Olympiads)

- 8 Pan Am Games participants (to 11 Games)


The Penn State Women's Fencing team would like to recognize all of the alums who participated this weekend. It was great to meet you all and we hope to see you visit again soon!


Beth Alphin

Jana Angelakis

Margot Summers

Raquel Berg

Alyson Van Alstyne

Nicole Glon

Adrienne Eiss

Eleanor Reigel

Sandra Jablonski

Mary McGuire

Pamela Resetar

Sue Lympany

Hope Meyer

Johanna Hall

Jenni Blat

Sarah Kuzio

Nancy Sell

Hanne Skattebol

Cynthia Lyons

Jane Nagel

Kate Wulf

Jennifer Hudson is a senior on the women's fencing team.

National Champions Take on Stadium Clean Up

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IMG_4846.JPGBy Jennifer Hudson, Student Athlete Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Bright and early on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7 a.m., the men's and women's national championship fencing team took on their first challenge of the year - cleaning Beaver Stadium.

It is a continuing tradition that the fencing team cleans half of the stadium right after the first home football game.

In return for their hard work, the team gets money to fund the season for travel and other events.

Unlike other varsity teams, fencing does not have many sponsors to help fund traveling during the year, which is why stadium clean up is mandatory for the entire team.

Although it is not a group favorite, it does give the chance for a little team bonding before the season begins.

"It was an excellent team building exercise," said sophomore epee fencer, Conor Shepard. "It's been a tradition for a long time, and does an amazing job of bringing all classes together in order to get to know each other."

The upperclassmen will take a section to sweep next to freshmen to show them the best way for clean up. The coaches will also come around every so often to let team members know if they missed any piece of trash, any little wrapper.

"It was a good way to build discipline for the whole team," said freshmen saber fencer, Andrew Mackiewicz. "The freshman fencers were able to connect with the upperclassmen by helping each other out which is crucial for the upcoming season."

Communication during the whole process was key for the team.

With half the stadium to clean, it was important to see who needed help or who needed motivated to get everyone back on their feet in order to finish the task as soon as possible. Just like if it were a meet, it was important for everyone to be focused and in it together, no matter how mundane and tiring the task.

The team worked together in pairs, taking sections at a time to look for any little Minute Maid Lemonade wrapper and every popcorn kernel.

Seven hours later, the fencers were cleared to leave the spotless cleanup site.

With the joyous news, some of the team went with the coaches to get pizza, while others went home to shower and sleep.

Everyone was happy that this year's clean up was completed and some of the seniors rejoiced a little more.

"It was my last time," said senior saber fencer, Michael Brand. "It makes reality set in that I'm graduating this year."

The next task for the Penn State fencing team is to train hard for its first meet of the season, The Nittany Lion Cup Open on Oct. 4 and 5 at the White Building.

Jennifer Hudson is a junior on the women
's fencing team.


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