12 April, 2006

Questing For The Holy Grail

Saturday: I never really woke up.

My good friend Chris came by to pick me up at 9 AM. We drove to CMU, stuffed the parking meter with quarters, and walked around an old gym building until we found an unlocked entrance. We met our fencers, and everyone got their equipent dragged into one corner of the gym and we set up camp there. In case you've never been to a fencing tournament, we use TONS of equipment, and the tourneys last a long time, so we also bring food and drinks and fidgety siblings and bored parents. The tournament started almost an hour after it was scheduled, but after that things ran pretty smoothly. Chris was called off to officiate for the saber tournament, and my epee team went up for their pools. Yay!

We didn't do so hot in the pools (8th place of 8 teams), but they learned some important stuff about the differences between epee competition and foil competition. I learned some important stuff about coaching! That was the first time I had ever been sole coach for a team that I had trained. It was pretty interesting. The boys all responded to my coaching well, which I so appreciated and enjoyed. In the DE's we fenced the team from IUP, who were mostly alumni. They were ranked first, but the final score was 41-45! We got pretty darn close to beating them a few times. My boys were disappointed that they weren't going to another round, but I think they learned a lot and they were happy with that.

The foil competition was HUGE. Of the 13 strips, 10 were dedicated to foil. After my team was eliminated from the epee DE's, I bounced around the foil teams, mostly encouraging the middle schoolers to stick around the strip and cheer each other on. Occasionally there'd be a break, and I'd eat voraciously or collapse somewhere and space out for a few minutes. I was called to officiate for the epee competition eventually, and that was really funny. This competition had a different scoring system than I had been used to, so I kept messing up...ah, well. I called the shots right, I just didn't know what to do with that info. I met the epee guys from Penn State's club (not the NCAA team) and they were a really cool bunch. They invited me to come hang out in their awesome fencing facilities for a weekend! That was cool.

The varsity boys' team from Bethel went to the semifinals (I think), and were defeated by Pitt's cream of the crop. Ironically, I had to coach against Pitt! Ouch...the bout went as I expected, however. I forget the final score. That Willy kid had improved a lot since we had last fenced him in high school.

I got home about an hour before my Pysanky party started. The Pysanky party was cool. I met another girl named Sarah, who was a friend of Anna's. Anna accidentally crushed her egg after all her hard work on it when she was blowing out the yolk! Ouch. Ryan's egg looked African, like his previous egg. Domenica's egg was red with green and yellow stripes on it with hearts on it. I have to remember to give it back to her. I completely forget what Lisa's egg looked like...but her back rub sure felt good :-)

I was too tired to get up early for church set-up. But it was a good weekend :-)

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