Four Cardinal fencers, freshmen Sanjay Kasi and Crystal Qian and juniors Haley Koo and Joy Yun, traveled to Minneapolis to compete in the 2022 October North American Cup this past weekend. All four fencers finished in the top 50 of their respective categories.
“First few bouts, I felt a little nervous. Sometimes in the very beginning of competitions, you feel those nerves and you don’t fence your best,” Kasi said. “But after about two to three pool bouts, I was able to get into my rhythm and just settle in and the nerves were gone.”
Fencing in the first event of the tournament, Kasi entered Division I Men’s Foil seeded 30th based on his national ranking. This allowed him to bypass the first round of pools and direct eliminations, immediately landing him a spot in the second round of competition. After a total of eight bouts, including six pool bouts and two direct elimination rounds, Kasi completed his last victorious bout with a score of 15-11, ultimately placing him 25th out of 242 competitors.
Two days later, Qian entered the Division I Women’s Foil event seeded 17th out of 160 competitors, one of whom was 2020 Olympic gold medalist Lee Kiefer.
“I wasn’t expecting too much just because I hadn’t been training as early as I had been before. Also, I have been pretty unstable in the past few competitions. So I thought like top eight, there’s no way,” Qian said. “At some point, I was like near the middle. I was like, maybe I can actually win.”
After winning all six of her pool bouts, Qian’s last victorious bout in the table of eight ended with a score of 15-12, earning her spot as the 6th place finisher. Qian successfully scored as a Top 8 finisher, earning her a well-deserved medal.
Juniors Koo and Yun fenced in the Division I Women’s Foil and Saber, respectively, both finishing in the Top 50 of their events. After a 15-4 finish in her last bout, Koo successfully secured her spot as 42nd out of 160 competitors. Yun finished her last bout with a score of 15-12, securing her spot as 46th out of 144 competitors in her event.
“I hope to hopefully help Stanford do very well at our meets at Air Force Academy and at Northwestern,” Kasi said about the new season. “And hopefully, individually, do very well at NCAA Regionals and at NCAA Championships.”
All four athletes are preparing for their upcoming season at Stanford, starting off with their first competition at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. on November 5 and 6.