Senior wins fencing gold medal

By Ellina Chulpaeff

Coming one step closer to his dream of becoming an Olympic fencer, Danny Nguyen ’09 won the gold medal for the High School Individual Men’s Foil competition held at Chaminade High School on Sept. 20. Ngyuen’s win marks the first time a Harvard-Westlake fencer has placed first in the tournament since 2002.

The event marked the first competition of the Southern California Scholastic Fencing League season. Of the 14 participating schools, Harvard-Westlake dominated the tournament, Nguyen said.

Ngyuen, a dedicated fencer, practices twice a week with the school team and also goes to the Los Angeles International Fencing Center at least three times a week.

He is nationally ranked A08, with an “A” denoting the highest possible ranking.

The tournament was in a direct elimination tableau format. This allowed individuals to represent their schools, even though fencers from the same schools were sometimes placed against one another.

Although he had to compete against teammates and friends, Ngyuen felt that that there wasn’t a lot of pressure going into the tournament.

“It was not hardcore or anything, because the idea was supposed to give people a ‘feel’ for a real tournament that you would normally experience at a national or regional tournament,” Ngyuen said.

Ngyuen predicted that Harvard-Westlake will likely win the foil title.

Nguyen plans to continue fencing at college and go on to play at national and international levels. His goal is to one day be within reach of competing at the Olympics.