Willette, Ochocki Make the Junior Olympics Championships Team
Feb. 16, 2010
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - At the conclusion of the Junior Olympics Championships this weekend, outstanding performances by men's fencing team members David Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) and Aleksander Ochocki (Clark, N.J.) sealed their positions on the Junior Olympics Championships team. The competition began on Friday, Feb. 12 and ended on Monday, Feb. 15.
Willette, a freshman and brother of Penn State fencer Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) came in second place in the foil competition. Ochocki, a sophomore and reigning National Champion in the saber, also finished in second place.
Penn State fencing head coach Emmanuil Kaidanov was impressed with how both fencers took control of their competition. In the foil, Kaidanov said, "David [Willette] secured his position by competing very successfully. His presence at the Junior Olympics was very strong."
Ochocki is currently a substitute for the Junior Olympics team, however he can enter the tournament at any time. He is already a three-time Junior Olympic Champion. Kaidanov said, "[Ochocki's] task was more difficult in order for him to make the team. To make the team, he had to win this tournament. It was very close and he had a good performance."
Freshman Jessica Russo (Wayne, N.J.) had a superior performance this weekend as well, finishing ninth in the women's saber competition. She did not make the Junior Olympics team, but she still impressed her coach. Kaidanov said, "[Russo] did well and has to be top ten in the country and that's a good achievement."
The Penn State fencing team will have a short break again before returning to dual action on Feb. 27. Temple will be hosting the dual meet that includes top competitors St. John's, UNC and Duke.
For more information about the Junior Olympics, please visit usfencing.org