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Stephen Jackson oulasts Chris Xu in close foil final

Ward Melville's Stephen Jackson (l) and Chris Xu

Ward Melville's Stephen Jackson (l) and Chris Xu of Jericho score simultaneous touches in the boys foil finals held at Brentwood High School on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

After an intense victory in the final bout of the day, Ward Melville’s Stephen Jackson echoed the sentiments of his fellow winners.

“There are so many great fencers here, and there’s something really satisfying knowing that I beat such great people and great fencers,” said Jackson, who took first in foil Saturday at the Jeff Wolfe Holiday Tournament at Brentwood.

Crystal Chen (Half Hollow Hills, sabre), Tiffany Kim (Hills, foil), Macy Meng (Great Neck South, epee), Bennett Cohen (Jericho, epee), and Jack Rohan (Ward Melville, sabre) were the days’ other winners.

The annual tournament, organized by Brentwood coaches Alison Finfrock and Mike Corona, featured more than 300 fencers from Nassau and Suffolk.

Jackson won arguably the bout of the day in the foil championship, winning 15-14 over Jericho’s Chris Xu, who had to fight through apparent hand and leg injuries.

Xu, who was in visible pain, was a touch away from defeat, but won three straight points to tie the bout, before Jackson got the final point. “Chris isn’t a quitter,” Jackson said. “I’m happy he was able to finish and finish strong.”

Earlier in the day, Rohan beat Commack’s Ryan Baldi in the latest matchup between the two nationally-rated sabre fencers. “I’ve fenced him plenty of times in high school bouts, so that definitely makes things harder,” Rohan said. “They expect your best actions, so you have to constantly mix things up.”

Cohen, a sophomore, continued to show the form that has made him an “A” rated fencer by the United States Fencing Association, beating Commack’s Nick Abbott in the final.

On the girls’ side, Chen took the day’s first title, holding off a fierce comeback from Commack’s Gabriella Musto in the sabre final. The Hills West junior led 8-2 before Musto tied the bout at 12. Musto took the lead at 14-13, before Chen won the final two points to win the title. “I tried not to attack too much because she has really good parries,” Chen added. “It was a great fight.”

Chen’s teammate, Kim, topped Great Neck South’s Ariel Kang in overtime in the foil final. Kim led 14-11, but Kang cut it to 14-13 before Kim closed the match.

The epee final was also close, as Meng beat Commack’s Jung Soo Ahn, 15-13. “I’ve never made it this far here, so I wanted to prove myself,” Meng said. “It’s a great boost of confidence. Jung Soo is an amazing fencer.”

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