J.O. qualifiers get lined up, then prep for North American Cup stop
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Oregon's top junior fencers converged on the Northwest Fencing Center Saturday to qualify for the Junior Olympics, which will be held in Salt Lake City in February.
They also got a taste of competition that awaits in less than a week at the North American Cup's stop at the Oregon Convention Center.
Most of the nation's top junior fencers will be in Portland for one of four annual events that help determine U.S. champions in saber, foil and epee. The event is additionally important this year because of this being an Olympic year with London playing host to the Summer Games beginning in July.
The tournament Saturday saw 27 fencers qualify for the J.O. tournament. The upcoming North American Cup will include 90 fencers from Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Olympian Mariel Zagunis will be on hand at the event, but won't participate as she's already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Madeline Curzon, 12, became PDX Fencing’s first national champion Gold medalist in April, when she won the North American Cup for her age group in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Curzon, who finished 31st in the event last year, is the only medalist in a national competition in the history of the two-year old club.
PDX Fencing was founded in 2008 by Charles Randall. Randall competed at Rutgers University and founded the illustrious Club Esgrima Vallarta, a fencing club in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico.
Michael Marx. a five-time Olympian, is the club Master at Arms.
PDX Fencing moved into a new facility in Beaverton in September of last year and has seen membership increase due to their new home.
And with the facility, PDX Fencing has been able to expand its programs to include four fencing camps, two of which are intended to prepare campers for the National Championships. The summer National Championships will take place July 4th weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.