Photo by JD Allen/ Stony Brook Club Fencing Team
By Nick Kalantzopoulos
The Stony Brook Club Fencing Team was able to pull off a successful road trip, bringing back some fond memories, as well as some hardware, after a tournament in Pittsburgh.
The South Atlantic Conference tournament was one that Club President Janelle Bawayan had been looking forward to for awhile. The camaraderie formed between the athletes during an event like this is something team leaders of all sports consistently strive for. The bonds of friendship made by teammates may be the deciding factor in an important competition, even one that includes solo events.
Devon Maguire, one of the club’s most prominent competitors, felt some tension early on from an opponent, but was mainly feeling anxiety of her own accord. Maguire took home the gold in the individual women’s foilist category.
“Early on in the day I lost one of my first bouts because I felt pressured to do well,” Maguire said, “but everyone still assured me that, win or lose, they’d still think I’m number one.”
The support of her teammates was something that Maguire called out as a deciding factor in her next match, a victory.
“Though they couldn’t fence with me, they supported me in a way that kept me going,” Maguire said. “It’s nice to be able to fence in that kind of an atmosphere, where you know no matter what at the end of the day you’re still a team and you win and lose together even if you fence alone.”
Bawayan also noted the backing of Maguire by her teammates, saying that it was key in her eventual win.
“Devon Maguire won the gold against some of the top collegiate club female foilists in the northeast region, and Stony Brook Fencing stood behind her as she fenced.” Bawayan added that she and her fellow club members, “formed a group behind her in order to cheer her on and support her.” Another key factor in the club’s success was the arrival of some fresh, new talent.
The Stony Brook Fencing Club had often appeared to tournaments such as these, without a full roster. However, Bawayan went on to say, “The recent SAC was one of the first tournaments in the past couple of years where the club was able to send a complete team with some squads even having substitutes.” The boost in attendance helped give Stony Brook the best chance at winning as many medals as possible.
When asked about the Fencing Club, Visiting Coach Joss Jamison was just as positive as the athletes. “The Stony Brook Fencing Team has grown considerably from the last time I have seen them at competition,” Jamison noted. “I am proud to see how the team has progressed and only have great aspirations for them.”
When asked about the gold-medal-winning-performance of Devon Maguire, Jamison said, “I expected nothing less than the outstanding performance shown by [her]. She is an outstanding fencer and a great benefit to the team.” Following the achievements of the Fencing Club, team members proudly brought back some of the hardware to Stony Brook.
Hopefully Stony Brook can take these successes and push onward for some more, in their next national tournament — United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs tournament in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.