The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Nguyen and Mishra prep for Junior Olympics

EN GUARDE. Junior Milan Mishra competes at the Junior Olympics last year. Mishra will be joined this year by teammate Maik Nguyen. “I’ve been fencing for ten years,” Mishra said. SUBMITTED PHOTO: Milan Mishra

Epee fencers Milan Mishra and Maik Nguyen are set to fence in the Junior Olympics this February, a national tournament attracting top-tier fencers from across the country. They are heading to Charlotte, North Carolina from Feb. 16-19 to compete in three events.

“I’ve been fencing for ten years. The first Junior Olympics I went to was last year,” Mishra said.
Newcomer Nguyen began fencing more recently. “I started my tenth-grade year, and I’ve enjoyed my time a lot,” Nguyen said.

One thing about this tournament which will be different, especially for Nguyen, is the number of fencers from more competitive places like New York and the Bay Area.

“In general Minnesota competition isn’t that hard,” Mishra said.

I’m not there to win. I’m there to have fun.

— Maik Nguyen

Most high school tournaments in Minnesota average around 35 fencers in the men’s epee event. Out of the three weapons in fencing, epee relies more on distance and timing as the target area encompasses the entire body, not just the torso. To develop their skills, Mishra and Nguyen have been practicing together and preparing for fresh competition.

“Milan and I have been going to a bunch of local tournaments and practicing … together to prepare for the Junior Olympic qualifiers,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen possesses nerves like the steel of his epee.

“I don’t have high hopes for my ranking in the actual tournament. I’m just feeling excited.” Nguyen said.

Mishra, on the other hand, feels some pressure as college coaches will be in attendance. Mishra highlighted the tournament’s significance because of its size and competition. “It’s a national tournament, and each state sends the top 25% of qualifiers from the qualifier tournaments,” he said.

Mishra and Nguyen will parry mostly college-level fencers, as the event hosts 300 participants spanning an age range of 15-22.

The tournament spans three days, with different events scheduled each day–Cadet on Friday, Team on Saturday, and Juniors on Sunday. Nguyen recently placed within the top three of the Junior division, and Mishra clinched victory in the Cadet event, securing their spots in both events. “I’m not there to win. I’m there to have fun,” Nguyen said.

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Olympia Wolff
Olympia Wolff, Copy Editor
My name is Olympia Wolff (she/her). I work as a Copy Editor for The Rubicon. At school, I’m involved in volleyball. I love to write, go out for coffee, and bring my dog to the dog park. I can be reached at [email protected].

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