by Andrew Garda

The Montclair High School fencing team continued its strong season this past weekend at the New Jersey Interscholastic Fencing Association Squad Championships at North Hunterdon High School.

In Sunday’s girls’ championships, all three Mountie squads placed in the top 10, with the epee winning a state title for the third year in a row. The saber squad took eighth place, while foil was 10th.

During a practice prior to the match, senior Amina Troupe said the epee squad had set the bar high for their expectations.

“We’ve won first place the last two years in a row,” she said. “So I’m hoping we can have a threepeat. And our epee squad is really, really strong, so I have really high hopes we can get there again. Even if we don’t reach that first place, I think we’re going to have an amazing day fencing. These girls are still young, but they’re out here and doing wonderful things.”

Wonderful things can definitely describe girls epee’s efforts; all three competitors were among the best individual fencers at Sunday’s meet. Clara Mendoza scored the second-highest total with 45 points, while Amira Mutakabbir was third with 42 and Troupe seventh with 34.

Twenty schools sent their epee squads to the meet, and none had as many fencers in the top 15 as MHS had in the top seven.

It was a strong finish to a very strong year, not just for epee but the entire girls team, which went 10-1 overall in dual meets and came in second in this year’s District 5 tournament.

The squad championship meets mark the final team competition of the 2017-18 fencing season. But Montclair will be an active participant in the NJIFA individual weapon championships this Sunday, March 4, at Livingston High School.

Like the girls, the boys epee group was the most successful of the discplines, ending up in third place out of the twenty teams. Boys foil also competed, ending their day in nineteenth place.

The Mounties placed two of their fencers in the epee top ten, with Alexander Moyse finishing fifth and Brian Roseboro landing in ninth.

Overall the coaching staff was happy for the perfomances by all of their athletes, and proud of the strides they made all season.

“We’re just proud of the efforts of all of our fencers and the dedication it took to achieve what they have this season,” head coach Ed Chang said via email. “We are eager to continue the tradition of competitiveness here at Montclair next year and in the years to come.”