NJSIAA Squad State Championships – Boys Epee GOLD!
The Ridge High School Boys and Girls Fencing teams brought home the hardware again this weekend at the NJSIAA Squad State Championships.
The 20 top ranked boys and girls fencing teams in New Jersey gathered at North Hunterdon High School to battle it out. On the line were state titles in sabre, foil, and epee.
The girls led off on Saturday, February 23 rd with 3 rd place finishes for both the epee and foil squads. The talented epee team was made up of A strip junior Diya Kulkarni, who won 13 of 19 bouts, B strip senior Arianna Minassian, who won 14 out of 19 bouts, and freshman Elizabeth Chan, who claimed 18 out of 19 victories on the C strip. Those 45 wins gave the team the bronze medal behind 2nd place Pingry, who had 48 wins, and 1 st place Montgomery with 52 wins on the day.
The Ridge foil team captured their bronze medal with a balanced attack as well. The young team of junior Liz Yugov on the A strip, winning 13 out of 19, freshman Lucy Liao on B strip, with a perfect record of 19 out of 19, and freshman Madison Clowes and freshman Erica Chang splitting the C strip duties, got the job done. Clowes going 6 out of 9 and Chang 6 out of 10. With 44 total victories, they followed up 1st place Northern Highlands (48 wins) and 2nd place Columbia (47 wins).
The Ridge sabre squad finished a very respectable 7th place in a tough field. The A strip senior, Nastassja Kuznetsova, went 7 for 15. Also contributing on the A strip was sophomore Ishita Goel, going 2 for 4. Junior Andrea Tirado secured 13 out of 19 victories on the B Strip, and junior Sameera Mathias was 10 for 19 on the C Strip.
The boys teams took to the strips on Sunday, February 24th for a showdown with their state rivals. The epee team put it all together, and after a grueling 6 hours of fencing came away with the gold medal and state title. This is only the 2nd time in school history that a Ridge epee squad has taken the gold – the last time being the 2007 squad. The combination of sophomore Allen Marakov on the A strip, winning 13 of 19, junior Clark Kokenge on the B strip, winning 16 out of 19, and senior Anton Groshnikov on the C strip, taking 16 out of 19, gave them the 45 wins and +121 indicator to secure the victory. Bernards took the silver and Wayne Hills the bronze.
The boys foils took it to their rivals of Montgomery and Columbia. The young squad had an excellent day, and after the dust settled their 47 total wins put them just shy of the top of the podium, behind first place Montgomery with 49 wins. Junior Eric Liu provided 16 out of 19 wins, freshman Advaith Rege went 18 out of 19, and freshman Ryan Shadpoor came away with 13 out of 19. With all returning foil fencers on both boys and girls teams, look for them to be in the hunt for the title next year.
The boys sabre squad was up against some of the best line-ups in the state. They held their own, and after a hard fought day came away with an 8th place finish out of 20 teams. Sophomore Casper Mika won 13 out of 19 on the A strip, junior Brock Martynowski on the B strip won 10 out of 19, and senior Jack Browne was 8 for 19 on the C strip.