Syosset boys, Commack girls win Long Island fencing championships
On one strip inside Cold Spring Harbor’s gym, there was Jalen Li making the final touch on the foot of his opponent to conclude his epee bout and give Syosset its first Long Island boys team fencing championship.
Then a while later Tuesday night on the other strip, there was Juliet Jackson making the touch to end her epee bout and give Commack a second straight Long Island girls team title.
The Syosset boys won Nassau for the first time and then defeated Suffolk champ Newfield/Miller Place, 14-2. The Commack girls won Suffolk and then had to sweat out a difficult match against Great Neck South. The Cougars ultimately prevailed, 14-11, in the rematch of last year’s final.
“It’s incredible,” Commack coach Jaclyn Sadiker said. “These girls put in the hard work in the season and offseason. They’re an incredible group of girls that worked so hard to be here.”
Syosset’s hard work finally paid off, too.
“We’ve been good the last three years,” coach P.J. Moon said. “… It was finally our year. A lot of returning fencers were seniors this year.”
That included Li. When he clinched the match, he became one of five Syosset fencers to go 2-0.
“It’s my first year to be the person to end the game,” Li said. “It’s pretty meaningful to me.”
Newfield/Miller Place had claimed the Suffolk crown for the third straight year. Coach Kyle Schirmer thought this was just an off night for his team.
“Yes, a hundred percent,” he said. “We had a successful season.”
Chloe Gullo, Anna Rohring and Angela Won went 3-0 to make this an ultra-successful season for Commack.
“It’s very exciting,” Won said. “… Coming to Long Island, we had high hopes because we trained really hard for this.”
Gullo rallied for a 5-4 win in sabre, good for an 11-10 lead overall. After the Rebels tied it, Won and Rohring won in foil before Jackson finished it off.
“We wanted to win more just because of the pressure,” Gullo said, regarding the airtight match. “It’s like a challenge we wanted to overcome.”
Great Neck South had to settle for its great achievements — a 9-2 regular season and a fifth straight Nassau title.
“Phenomenal,” coach Katie Sagevick said. “After graduating a few seniors last year, I wasn’t expecting a lot out of our team. But they were dedicated and pulled out win after win.”