July 18, 2013 by conteconfidential
Boston College fencers Devin Midgley and Marney Krupat recently competed at the USA Fencing National Championships, showing that their passion for their sport persists long after the school year ends.
The event took place from June 28 to July 7 in Columbus, Ohio, a long journey for the two East Coast natives. Midgley, a rising senior, competed in the Div. II and Div III men’s sabre event, while rising sophomore Krupat competed in Div. II and Div. III women’s sabre.
The tournament began with a series of round-robin style pools to determine the seeding for the elimination bracket. The fencers then moved on to the direct elimination rounds. In Div. II, Midgley was eliminated in the first direct elimination round, but in Div. III he advanced through two rounds before being defeated in the round of 32.
Although Midgley believes that he could have done better, years of fencing have given him a mature outlook on the experience.
“To keep your sanity in this sport you have to develop a rather odd skill, or at least I did: the ability to shrug off something that was previously the most important thing in the world to you,” Midgley said. “When you are fencing, nothing matters but the bout. After the bout, learn from any mistakes, but move on with your life.”
Devin Midgley competes at a meet on campus last year (photo credit: John Quackenbos)
In the Div. III competition, Krupat earned a bye for the first elimination round after going undefeated in the pools, but she was eliminated in the second round. This landed her a 33rd place finish overall.
In Div. II, she once again earned a bye for the first round and went on to win one more match before narrowly losing in the third round. She was disappointed with the loss but did not go down without a fight. After falling behind her opponent 8-2 in the first half of the match, she went on to tighten the margin to make the final score 13-15.
Krupat credits her near-comeback to words of wisdom that she received from BC sabre coach Brendan Doris-Pierce. Like Midgley, she believes that she could have performed better in her events but looks back at the experience with the hopes of improving in the future.
“It’s difficult to ever feel satisfied after finishing an event, but it’s great motivation to keep training,” she said.
Midgley and Krupat each faced challenges throughout the tournament. Due to the amount of competitors in his event and the timing of his pools, Midgley had difficulty trying to warm up. He believes that this hurt him in Div. II competition. As for Krupat, being at her first National tournament was nerve-racking, especially without her BC team there for support.
Fortunately, both fencers had strong cheering sections during the competition. In addition to Doris-Pierce, former BC captain Peter Souders provided support from the sidelines. Midgley was especially excited to see his former teammate at the tournament.
“He was a great captain and mentor for me in the two years we fenced together,” Midgley said. “It was really good to see him again, and we shared a few laughs after the tournament.”
Midgley’s parents were also in attendance, which helped him make it through the long drive to Ohio as well as through the tough competition at the tournament. Krupat’s boyfriend, who is a fencer who has also competed at nationals, went with her and attended all of her events. Some other fencers from her fencing school in New Jersey also competed in the tournament.
Marney Krupat competes at nationals (photo credit: Alice Kee)
“Most of my teammates were at nationals and were always so supportive of everyone fencing,” Krupat said. “Having a team behind you is so crucial, especially at an event of this scale.”
Earlier in the summer, both fencers juggled busy schedules preparing for the tournament.
Midgley works two jobs and is two and a half hours away from his fencing club, Prise de Fer Fencing Club. He made the journey to in Billerica, Mass. several times a week to train under his coach Ariana Klinkov.
Krupat, who also has a job working at an energy company, trained three days a week at The Sabre School in her home state of New Jersey and also attended a tournament almost every week.
Now that they are done with nationals, both Midgley and Krupat are looking forward to enjoying the rest of their summer before going back to BC.
Krupat went on a trip to Israel earlier in the summer and is planning on spending a lot of time on the beach with friends whenever she can. Midgley, an experienced piano player, decided to try something new this summer and is currently taking voice lessons for fun.
Midley and Krupat will continue to hone their fencing skills and will be ready and excited when the BC fencing season begins again in the fall.
By Julia Burkett