Local fencers break through at major tournament


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Naomi Bucur, left, Mason Sands and Rebekah Bucur all had standout performances at the Central Florida Division Fencing Tournament.

photo by Carl Kotala

The Central Florida Division Fencing Championships proved to be quite a breakthrough for three members of the Genesis Fencing Club.

Naomi Bucur won the Épée Youth-10 Mixed championship, while her older sister, Rebekah, placed second in the Foil Youth-12 Mixed competition.

Holy Trinity student Mason Sands also took second place in the Épée Senior Mixed tournament.

“It was their first major competition that they truly showed their full potential,” said Daniel Bucur, who owns, operates and coaches at the Genesis Fencing Club.

Naomi Bucur said she was “a little surprised” she was able to win all nine of her bouts in the tournament, especially after getting through a challenging final.

“It was pretty close,” she said. “My opponent’s advantage was that she was a lefty. It was very tough. I was glad that I won that bout.”

After taking a 7-2 lead, Naomi saw her opponent rally to tie the score at 7-7 before scoring the final three points for a 10-7 win.

“I was excited, but at the same time, I was a little bit disappointed with myself,” she said. “My coach told me to do something … and I didn’t do it. So I was excited, but I was not as excited at the same time.”

Still, the win will give her confidence as she moves up to the 11-year-old division.

Rebekah, meanwhile, said she also was pleased with her performance.

“It’s the highest I’ve gotten in a big competition,” she said.

Rebekah’s final match came against a girl she had faced in previous competitions. She was trailing 14-13 when the three-minute clock ran out.

“I just wasn’t aware of the time,” she said.

Rebekah and Naomi have been fencing for four to five years and should have a bright future ahead in the coming years.

Sands, meanwhile, can take plenty of pride in the fact that not only did he get a second-place finish, the rising senior also got a national E rating, which had been his goal when he went to the Junior Olympics earlier this year.

He is the only fencer at GFC to hold a national rating.