Well day 1 has come and gone. We started the day out arriving at the Georgia World Congress center in Atlanta at 8am. We immediately made our way to the armory to check Shawn's fencing equipment. First off Shawn's borrowed Epee fencing mask failed inspection. So off to the vendors in search of a new mask. Fortunately at these events the vendors have some good prices that make buying equipment a little more enticing. So we went ahead and purchased a couple more body cords, a lame, cuff, and an epee mask. Ouch!! there goes 200 bucks. Oh well it would of been 250 if we done it mail order.
Next we inspected the freshly purchased equipment and had no issues in the armory. Everything we needed to complete for the event was done now so all we had to do was wait for the pools to start.
Fencing time came around real quick. Shawn went into his first event a bit on the nervous side. That was understandable because the last time he competed in an epee event was last year at the Atlanta regional's. We had a number of problems with his epee weapons. A fencer is supposed to have two weapons. Right before each bout the weapon is inspected for the proper tip spacing, and compression rating as well as electrical connections. If any of these fails the fencer gets a yellow card. If a fencer gets more than one yellow card he could have points taken away from him. So the fencer needs to fall back on his second weapon. Shawn ended up with 3 failed weapons across 7 bouts. We need to work on getting him to inspect his own weapon before entering the fencing area. Needless to say he ended up with one red card which ended up with a point against Shawn.
Shawn fenced 6 bouts in the pool for epee. He lost the first 5 bouts which discouraged him in a lot of ways. Then he had a little longer wait before his 6th bout so he had some time to think about his mistakes. Shawn's opponent in this last bout was about a foot and a half taller than him. This kid had some serious reach over Shawn. This was not going to be an easy bout for Shawn at all. But this did not discourage him he ended up with a 5 to 4 win and we were all very excited. Even Shawn's coach was a little surprised that he was able to pull off such a good win.
Well the pools ended and now it was time for the direct elimination tournament to begin. Shawn's first opponent was another kid that seriously looked like a 17 year old rather than a 12 year old. This kid was almost 2 feet bigger than Shawn. In the direct elimination tournament the fencers do 3, 5 point bouts. The first fencer that wins 2 of the 5 point bouts advances to the next round. The first bout went to Shawn's opponent in a 5 to 2 loss. But this did not discourage Shawn, he went on to beat his opponent in a 5 to 3 win. So now it was getting exciting, both fencers won one bout each and they were going to have to fence a 3rd bout to determine who should advance to the next round. Shawn fought hard in this last bout but he ended up a little short and lost 5 to 2.
Well we were very proud of Shawn for doing so well. He showed some great courage in doing his best. And above all he had a lot of fun.
Check out Day 2 of the USFA Summer Nationals for more information on Shawn's progress in the event.