In the Bible, 2 Timothy, 2:4 you read “… an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” Fencing has a set of rules of conduct, but more than just those rules are the principles of fencing every successful coach knows and their fencers must apply. Dark Horse Fencing Club head coach Miles (Bruce) Callander, a veteran-age epee fencer, too, reinforced the principles of champion epee fencing on Saturday, 23 May 15, during the Battle of Spotsylvania fencing tournament for veteran-age (over-40 yrs old) competitors tuning up for the United States National Fencing Championships in San Jose, CA, in July.
Semiannually, Dark Horse Fencing Club plays host to the Virginia Division tournaments for veteran-age fencers, which comprise events for all three weapons: foil, sabre and epee. Included with the tournament is a delicious buffet by Master Chef Lincoln freshly prepared on-site and precisely presented at the time of day of each event. In that way, fencers who compete in all three events may enjoy different buffet items. The epee event was the last of three scheduled that day.
Initially seeded 10th of 15 epee combatants before Round#1-pools, behind a B, four Cs, three Ds, and an E-rated fencer, Coach Bruce (an E-rated epee fencer), was also the sole Dark Horse fencer competing in the tournament, overall.
The 15 epeeists divided into three pools of five each for Round 1. At the conclusion of the round, Coach Bruce, won 3 bouts and lost 1 bout in Pool #3. He finished #2 in his pool; and, overall he placed 5th before Round #2 – Direct Elimination. At this moment, the Dark Horse epeeist lagged only behind two of the four Cs, and two of the three Ds.
Fencing in the Sweet Sixteen, the Dark Horse barely edged past the now flaming hot #12 seed, Castilla McNamara, Rockville Fencing Academy, by the score of 10-8, to defend his position in the herd and advance to the Elite Eight.
Next up, Ivan Wilson, Old Town Fencing Club, one of the two remaining C-rated fencers, seeded #4. The Dark Horse needed to surge now, or else call it a fun day and return to bout committee duty. From the get-go (En Guard, Ready, Fence!), the Dark Horse established and maintained unmatchable timing, tempo, distance cruising to a 10-5 victory into the Fantastic Final Four.
Surprisingly, his next opponent was not the other C-rated fencer, #1 seed, James Newsome, Tidewater Fencing Club. Instead, he faced off against the #9 seed, C-rated David Nemazie, Salisbury Fencing Club, who had eliminated Mr. Newsome from the tournament with a 10-8 victory. Nonetheless, the true Dark Horse was undaunted by the surprise as he cruised past for a 6-10 victory into the Gold Medal match.
“Timing, Tempo, Distance”. From 10th place to 5th place, and now the final match against the #2 seed, Ray Gordon (D-rated), Chesapeake Fencing Club. Mr Gordon did not fade as easily as the Dark Horse’s previous opponents. But in the end, Coach Bruce, the Dark Horse, prevailed 10-9 to champion the epee event.
Congratulations, Coach Bruce, the Dark Horse!
The Dark Horse