Greenwich High School Fencing Team Wins Big at States

Monique Nikolov

GHS fencers, (from left to right) Koh Kobayashi, Gabriel Quiroga, Jessica Franco, and Kira Wang, at the team state competition.

On March 3rd, 5th and 10th, the Greenwich High School fencing team traveled to the Hopkins School and East Lyme High School to compete against the top teams in the state.

Monique Nikolov

James Bonney, right, fencing épée at the team state tournament. Photo Monique Nikolov

March 3rd and 5th were the dates of the individual competition rounds at the Hopkins School. The top fencers in their weapon for each school competed individually in a tournament designed to rank the fencers on a state level.

Six Greenwich High School fencers won medals through placing within the top 8 of their events at individual states.

Frank Riccio, a senior, won 6th place in the Men’s Foil event.

Hannah Crasto, a senior, won 2nd place in the Women’s Épée event.

Kent Schneider, a junior, won 2nd place in the Men’s Épée event.

Xavier Ceradini, a senior, won 3rd place in the Men’s Saber event. Seniors Brooke Gothelf and Renee Nikolov won 5th and 8th place (respectively) in the Women’s Saber event.

“Everyone worked really hard, and I’m proud of everyone for all they’ve done,” said GHS coach Donald Grunewald.

In order to qualify for the team state fencing tournament, GHS individual fencers had to rank well compared to the other schools within their event. This year, the GHS Men’s Foil, Épée, and Saber teams, along with the Women’s Épée and Saber teams qualified for the team state competition.

“It was an epic day,” said coach Donald Grunewald. “We may not have done as well as we could have, but we came away with a second place trophy in women’s saber, and we all had a good time.”

Anthony Neri

Women’s saber team, (from left to right) Brooke Gothelf, Kira Wang, Renee Nikolov, Monique Nikolov, and Jessica Franco (bottom row), pose with Coach Donald Grunewald (right) to celebrate their 2nd place win.

Although only the women’s saber team won a trophy for their second place win, the other teams had been anticipating a competitive match-up.

“We all fought like there was no tomorrow. In fact, my fellow seniors and I will never fence again for this high school league,” said senior Captain Koh Kobayashi. “We decided to retreat no more but to only advance and lunge into our future goals.”

The GHS Men’s foil team placed 4th in the state. The Men’s Épée team placed 7th. The Men’s Saber team placed 5th. The Women’s Épée team placed 8th, and the Women’s Saber team placed 2nd.

Anthony Neri

The women’s foil team, (from left to right) Nina Hirai, Monique Nikolov, Tenzin Palkyi, and Caitlin Curtis, at the team state competition.

Koh Kobayashi

The men’s fencing team, (from left to right for the top row) Alexander Luna, Fin Yiannakou, Matthew Bonaparte, Noah Kim, Anthony Neri, Koh Kobayashi, Gabriel Quiroga, Xavier Ceradini, Frank Riccio, and Zahir Maheia (bottom), at the team state competition.

Anthony Neri

The women’s fencing team, (from left to right for the top row) Brooke Gothelf, Renee Nikolov, Monique Nikolov, Tenzin Palkyi, Katelyn Vo, Jessica Franco, Elizabeth Cassidy, Kira Wang, Caitlin Curtis, and Nina Hirai, and (bottom row) Hannah Crasto, at the team state competition.

Monique Nikolov

Senior members of the men’s foil team, (from left to right) Noah Kim, Anthony Neri, and Koh Kobayashi at the team state competition.