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Ward Melville's Mike Antipas named Newsday's Fencer of the Year
This season saw Mike Antipas take his turn as the face of the family fencing dynasty.
The Ward Melville junior won his second consecutive individual championship, finished a second straight unbeaten season, and was named Newsday’s Long Island Fencer of the Year, following in the footsteps of older sisters Demi and Alexa who also accomplished these feats during their careers.
“It feels like a family tradition now,” Mike said.
The youngest Antipas has gone 65-0 in foil over the past two seasons, helping the Ward Melville boys team capture its seventh-consecutive Suffolk and Long Island team championships.
Demi finished her career in 2012 with a 116-0 record, and Alexa graduated last year with a 110-1 record.
Their parents did not fence, and while Mike says his grandfather was a fencer, he attributes Demi for getting him and Alexa into the sport.
In terms of the standard set by his older sisters, he said that by the “start of this year,” he felt like he had reached their level, since he “was getting national results consistently.”
These results have earned him a national “A” rating from the United States Fencing Association. He is ranked 33rd in the country in the USFA’s senior division, the body’s top grouping.
In February’s Junior Olympics in Portland, Oregon, Antipas finished 24th out of 174 fencers in the under-20 foil competition.
He attributes much of his success to his team.
“Individually, you get pushed by each other,” Antipas said of his Ward Melville teammates, including Devon Reina, his practice partner of five-years who won county bronze in foil this season. “Each time someone gets better, the other person has to step up their game and get better too.”
Antipas will look to continue to get better next year, seeking to be the third member of the family to graduate with three individual titles.