Bridget Becchina entered the Suffolk fencing championships designated as Ward Melville’s ‘B’ sabre fencer and ended it as a champion.
Becchina won all 17 of her bouts and helped the Ward Melville girls fencing team sweep all three individual titles and take the team championship Saturday at Brentwood.
“We’ve been working really hard for this as a team all season,” Becchina said. “This is an especially exhausting day because you fence once and then you have to wait to fence again. In between you’re cheering your team on and you have to stay focused the entire day.”
Julia Duffy won the epee title and Ivanna Zavala-Arbelaez was the winner for Ward Melville at foil.
“From the beginning of the day I knew I would be able to keep up the intensity and pull out the win,” Duffy said. “We all really wanted to come out here and end on top.”
For the team portion of the championship each of the ten teams fence the others once in pool play. Ward Melville won 65 bouts, Commack was second with 62 and Half Hollow Hills finished third with 52.
Lauren Cappello, Ward Melville’s ‘A’ sabre fencer, went 8-1 during the team pool play and had a key come from behind win against 2017 sabre champion Stephanie Miller of Commack to help the Patriots secure the team title.
The Ward Melville boys had a big day as well, capturing the team title by winning 62 bouts. Commack was second with 54.
“It was a great honor to be out here competing,” epee champion Ben Rogak said. “As the years go on it gets stressful to keep the tradition and streak alive but it’s a great privilege.”
The win gave Rogak his second consecutive epee title. Ward Melville’s Josh Yen finished second in sabre and the Patriots had the second and third place finishers at foil in Mike Desando and Chris Ancona.
Charlson Kim of Commack won the sabre title and Jake Hempe of Newfield repeated as foil champion.
“I definitely feel like I improved my footwork and that I can move better than last year,” Hempe said. “I think being champion last year could make kids scared to go up against me and the experience definitely affects me on the strip. I tell myself I’m the best one on the strip and no one is going to take it away from me and I go out and try to perform.”