The Brock Badgers hosted the OUA men’s fencing championships, where the Toronto Varsity Blues took home the banner for the fifth season in a row. The host Badgers finished just short of the podium with 151 points, good enough for fourth place in the OUA.
Though the Badgers didn’t crack the top three in any of the team events, there were some individual performances worthy of hardware.
Malcolm McLeod took home a bronze medal in the individual foil event.
“He’s had a stellar year. Hasn’t had a lot of time to compete this year with school and being in his fourth year. He is just absolutely having a blast out there and he demolishes competition,” said Badgers head coach Tim Stang of the fourth-year physics major from Beamsville.
Aaron Olmstead, a third year kinesiology student earned a bronze of his own in the individual sabre event, “he had a stellar year, having a stellar day,” said Stang.
The team’s lone silver medal was earned by fourth-year Logan Wilford, in the individual Epee event.
The Badgers were thinking about this moment since last year’s OUA championships.
“We prepare for an entire year just for this one day so the men fence on one weekend, the women fence on another weekend and then their preparation starts literally the day after their championships,” said Stang.
He sets his expectations high, but the goal is simple.
“My expectation is to win,” he said. “Every coach we have here, regardless of the sport we have here at the institution, our expectation is to win or always improve.”
Brock is no stranger to hosting big events; the Brock Open, which takes place in November, is one of the biggest invitationals in the country. Fencers, not just those from the University level, come to Brock to compete.
“When we host championships like this it’s relatively easy and we like to put on a really good show. Brock is known for hosting events really well,” said Stang.
The fencing team is among the most consistent of the varsity teams on campus, despite suffering a lack of visibility and recognition among students.
“In the fall we were winning medals at every invitational we went to. It’s not usual for other teams to do that,” said Stang.
The women’s fencing team will be at Queen’s University to compete for the women’s banner in Kingston. Stang has high hopes for the women.
Sarah Fellman, a first-year from Brooklyn, New York, competes in the foil events, is a “stupendous fencer,” according to Stang. “[She] is full of passion and fire and to watch her is simply amazing. I expect big things from her.”
Also on the foil team is Amber Briar, “She comes from a long line of fencers, her brother, sister, dad are all fencers. She’s absolutely amazing to watch,” said Stang.
The sabre and epee teams are made up of older fencers
“Our other teams have had nothing but depth and experience. Next weekend could be really amazing for us.”
Win or lose though, Stang wants his program to take something away from every competition.
“Perseverance, learning to know themselves and prove that they can achieve beyond what a little school like Brock [is expected to],” said Stang. “We go up against some heavy hitters and they do exceptionally well and that should give them a lot of confidence.”