February 18, 2009

Freshman Foil Specialist Excells at Junior Olympics

Print More

Last Friday, freshman fencer Rebecca Hirschfeld traveled to Albuquerque, N.M. to participate in the Junior Olympics. She finished 29th out of the 152 women foilists, which Hirschfeld said was “exactly what I hoped to get.”
By finishing in the top 32, Hirschfeld earned national points, which automatically qualify her for the fencing summer nationals. For her, the qualification is “one less thing to worry about.”
The fencers who accumulate the highest number of national points qualify to fence in the Olympics or represent the U.S. in other international competitions.
“I didn’t just fence well in terms of results, but my actual fencing improved since I last fenced in a national competition,” said Hirschfeld.
She was particularly pleased with the results, since it had been Hirschfeld’s first national tournament in a long time.
“I almost felt like I was starting from scratch because it was my first national tournament in a while.”
“Rebecca fenced really well,” said head coach Iryna Dolgikh, who traveled with Hirschfeld to New Mexico. “She tried a couple of new things. I’m happy because we’ve just worked with her for three months, and this was a big improvement.”
“My coach and teammates definitely helped me improve and I’ve really enjoyed working with them,” said Hirschfeld.
Hirschfeld said that it was “refreshing” to have Dolgikh accompany her to a tournament, rather than the coaches she fenced for before college.
Fencers under age 20 can qualify for the Junior Olympics, which, according to Dolgikh, is “only for the best fencers.”