Spectators at the recent Brigham Young University Novice Open Fencing Tournament in the Smith Fieldhouse had a preview of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, in September.
Fencing, among the oldest of the modern Olympic sports, will be among the Olympic Games contests in Korea, and several more fencing tournaments are being planned for Provo and Salt Lake City this spring and summer so Utahns can learn about the sport before the Olympic Games begin.A total of 60 men and 16 women competed in the past weekend's foil tournament. Men's contest winners, from first place to eighth place, are Kurt A. Hills, who scored 21 straight victories to earn his trophy, Jeff Adams, Keith Perkins, Mike Davis, Kee Miller, Doug Montrose, David Henrie and Russ Richins.
Women winners from first through eighth place are Diane Evensen, Rebecca Hawes, Candi Rogers, Elizabeth Caldwell, Annabelle Bitter, Rebecca Reynolds, Emily Snow and Holly Provonsha.
Competitors included members of the BYU Fencing Team, the BYU Fencing Club and the Wasatch Fencing Association.
Mark Stasinos, BYU's fencing instructor who coaches both the school's team and fencing club and who directed the weekend tournament, said there will be fencing competition Saturday, May 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School, 843 Lincoln, Salt Lake City; at the Utah State Games, June 26-27, at Ceder City; and another match at BYU in August.
Stasinos said anyone interested in learning more about fencing or who wants to join a fencing club can contact him at BYU, at 378-3334, or call Ron Hendricks, Kaysville, who represents the Wasatch Fencing Association, at 544-9240.
The Wasatch club holds practices Saturday mornings at 10 in the Layton Recreation Building in Layton and at 10 a.m. at Rowland Hall and on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7 at East High School.
Stasinos said the two BYU fencing organizations and the Wasatch Fencing Association are trying to bring the U.S. National Fencing Tournament to the Salt Palace in 1990. He said the tournament would include eight days of fencing and bring more than 1,000 competitors to Utah.
"American fencers who will participate in the Olympic Games this year are being picked now through a series of four regional tournaments, called circuit events, and the 1988 National Fencing Tournament, which will be held June 20-25 in Chicago.
Stasinos said three kinds of fencing will be featured at the Olympic Games in Korea, just as there are three kinds practiced in Utah competition with the foil, the epee and the saber. Women's fencing is limited to the foil.
Fencing is based on precision, speed, timing and distance. A fencer who is attacking must coordinate his hand and foot work and his opponent, to parry, blocks the incoming thrust with the strong part of his blade.
The defender's immediate counterattack, the riposte, follows the parry. Every attack can be avoided or parried if the defender has time to react. Success depends on split-second speed, fractions of an inch in distance and tactical judgment.