Milford fencing team excels at states

In only its second season, the Milford High School fencing team fielded a full squad of eight fencers in the Individual State Championships at the Hopkins School in New Haven this past weekend.

Competing against more than 340 top-level fencers from all over the state, Milford’s fencers qualified for the second round.

Team co-captain Ethan Giers and Cellan Whaley made fine showings in the Men’s Epee class, as did Baji Tumendemberel, Amanda Shaw and women’s captain Madeline Turiano, all of whom celebrated their first victories at states.

Placing highest for Milford was senior Michaela Smith, who won three bouts in the pools, only to come up just short in a heartbreaking direct elimination bout.

On the men’s side, senior Matt Jason advanced through his pool, winning two bouts before finally being knocked out by the No. 13 seed in direct elimination.

Team captain Andrew Hiza also advanced to the round of  32 in Men’s Foil before a hard-fought loss to the No. 2 seed in the state.

Coach Mark Kissinger said, “Every bout was very close, and win or lose, our High School fencers displayed the highest levels of sportsmanship, poise and tenacity.

“This being only our second season, we have 21 great kids in the club on which to build a solid base for future years.

“We look forward to our final tournament at Foran on Friday, March 20.”