PART 2 of 4
The 2017-18 fencing season started with a bang on October 16! Off we flew on a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles! We were only there for a day-and-a-half! The first North American Cup event took place in Anaheim, California. We could see Disneyland from our hotel room!
One of the good things about flying to the west coast from Texas is that you gain 2 hours! Although, it doesn’t sound like much, it is a great advantage to those of us who have a little trouble getting up and moving in the morning! Registration closed at 8am, which is normally an awful time of day! But in Los Angeles, it was really 10am to us Texans! Not so bad!
The new format for the NACs this year includes a 2-day format. The top 62 ranked fencers receive a bye to the second day while everyone else fences on the first day. At this event, there were a total of 164 competitors. This means that 102 athletes competed on day one in a format consisting of pools and direct elimination bouts that weeded them down to 126 (including the top 62). Those eliminated on day one, fenced a consolation tournament on day 2. The top 126 competed in the main event on day 2.
The day started off with 18 pools of 7 athletes. As an athlete, that means you have to fence 6, 5-touch matches or bouts. Once the pools are over, athletes are ranked from best (#1) to worst (#126) based on our win-loss records. Only 80% or so are promoted to the next round. The 15-touch direct elimination (DE) round started with 112 athletes. As with tennis (and many other sports), if you lose a DE match, you are eliminated from the competition.
Courtney was still hurting from her sprained ankle. It was taped and well wrapped by the USA Fencing trainers but we were still uncertain if she would be able to fence all day. She hasn’t fenced since she was injured almost 2 weeks before. We kept our fingers crossed — hoping, at a minimum, that she wouldn’t make the injury worse!
The pools finished with Courtney winning all (6-0) and Kelley losing one (5-1). We were ranked #5 and #9, respectively. The start of the season was underway and the off-season rust was beginning to fade! Courtney’s ankle was holding up and Kelley was working through a few kinks.
— Stay Tuned! Part 3 will be posted tomorrow. —