For the first time in the history of Pope John XXIII Regional High School, three of its fencing students qualified and advanced to compete at New Jersey State Individual Fencing Championship.
Two hundred and thirty of the best fencers from 60 New Jersey high schools competed at the championships, held Feb. 13 at Morris Knolls High School in Rockaway.
Boys and girls competed with three weapons — saber, foil, and epee. Fencers competed at three rounds of pools, to five touches.
In the first round, 24 of the best fencers per weapon advanced. By the third round, only eight were left to advance to the final round.
Roman Concha, a Pope John sophomore, competed at Men’s Foil and finished 39th place.
Benjamin (Ben) Giralt, a Pope John sophomore, seeded 40th before tournament and competed at Men’s Saber. In the first round he won three matches and lost three, finishing in 20th place. In the second round he won one match, lost four, and finished in 21st place.
Allen Trudnos of Hamburg, a Pope John junior, is the most experienced among the Pope John fencers. Before the tournament start, he was ranked #15.
In the first pool round Allen won all six matches, ranked second, and advanced to next round. At the second round pool Allen again won all five matches. The only invincible fencer, he ranked #1 and advanced to the final round.
The top eight best saber fencers competed for 2022 Individual State Championship title in the final round. Allen fenced very well, winning four matches, losing three, and finishing fourth place overall.
“Congratulations to all three Pope John’s Spartan fencers for putting Pope John High School on the New Jersey High School fencing map,” said Mark Trudnos, NFA-Pope John Fencing Club Coach. “The next step for Pope John’s Spartans is to build a solid high school fencing team to compete at the New Jersey state championships.”
“Congratulations to all three Pope John’s Spartan fencers for putting Pope John High School on the New Jersey High School fencing map. The next step for Pope John’s Spartans is to build a solid high school fencing team to compete at the New Jersey state championships.” Mark Trudnos, NFA-Pope John Fencing Club Coach