Fencing sparks patience, strategy

March 8, 2018

Patience. Teamwork. Friendship. Strategy. Fencing taught Sarah Lurye all of these qualities, becoming a fact of life for her.

“I really like the strategy and the athleticism,” Sarah said. “For fencing, you need a lot of concentration. You need to be really creative, and you need stamina. It’s really important to be patient and have a fast reaction. It’s both mental and physical.”

Sarah, a sophomore, has fenced for six years and currently trains at Windy City Fencing in Lincoln Park five days a week. Sarah wants to compete in NCAA collegiate fencing, and she hopes to compete in the Olympics.

Ranked 6th in the nation for the under-17 category, Sarah was put on the USA traveling team. With the team, she traveled to three cadet international tournaments. She also travels to competitions around the U.S. each month.

Amanda Levitt
READY TO SPAR. Sarah Lurye practices her fencing stance. Sarah has been fencing with Windy City Fencing for six years, and is ranked sixth in the nation for fencers under age 17. Her fencing career has taken her across the world for tournaments.

Because she travels the world for competitions, Sarah has met some of her best friends because of fencing.

“One of my best friends is from Belgium,” Sarah said. “ I get to see her at tournaments, which is really fun. I have a lot of friends around the U.S., who are also my competitors, but when we’re at the Strip we hang out a lot.”

At Windy City Fencing, Sarah has formed bonds with teammates like Nick Levitt, a freshman, who considers Sarah to be a supportive teammate and friend.

“At big tournaments, the men and women’s events are at different times,” Nick said. “There have been lots of times at national tournaments when she’s been on the sidelines cheering me on. At one national tournament we were at, she lost a bout, but she was very sportsmanlike when she lost and she didn’t get upset like a lot of people do.”

Because she goes to so many competitions, Sarah misses school every couple of weeks, making it difficult to participate in some school activities.

“I do some clubs at school, but it’s especially hard because I have to catch up with homework,” Sarah said. “You are missing so much time outside of school.”

Even if she has to miss school, fencing is worth it to Sarah. She loves representing the United States at international tournaments. At the USA Fencing National Championships in Salt Lake City in July 2017, Sarah won each timed round by mere seconds.

“I think Nationals was a great experience because it really was a great start to the season,” Sarah said. “Winning each bout by one point was pretty incredible. It was amazing getting on the podium and getting second place in the U.S.”

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