Ashley takes 1st Place at Tournament

by Mike Linnen 12. March 2007 07:23
Ashley takes 1st Place at Tournament

Well we had another great weekend with fencing. This time it was Ashley stepping up to the strip and taking first place at the Mid Atlantic RYC Y10 Women’s Saber. This is an awesome achievement for Ashley. This fencing tournament qualifies Ashley for the 2007 Fencing Nationals in Miami this year.

We went to the University of North Carolina in Greensboro for this event on Saturday March 3rd and it was Ashley’s first tournament outside of the KOS home events. Was she nervous? She sure did not look like it!

Just to refresh your memories on how one of these tournaments works. Fencers are placed in groups called pools. Depending on the number of fencers there could be 1 or many pools. In the case of this tournament there were 3 fencers so only 1 pool was formed. The object of the pool is to get as many wins and points as possible. When the pool is complete the points are totaled up and the fencers are ranked. Based on the ranking results the fencers are paired up to compete in a direct elimination tournament. In direct elimination the winners advance to the next round and the losers go home.

Ashley ended up fencing two other fencers in this pool. She won 1 and lost 1 and the end result of the pool she ended up ranking 2nd out of 3 fencers This created an elimination tournament where the #1 ranked fencer would get a bye for the first round and Ashley would have to fence the #3 rank in round 1 Take a look at the elimination bracket shown below to get a visual idea of what I am talking about.

RYC 2007 DE Bracket

In direct elimination each round consists of the best 2 out of 3 matches of 5 points each. This means the fencers fence up to 3 matches of 5 points each. The first fencer to reach 2 wins advances to the next round.

Ashley won the first two matches in round 1 against Ross with a total score of 10 to 4. This meant Ashley was moving up to the finals against Margaret. Ashley started off a little slow in the first match against Margaret and she ended up loosing the match 5 to 3. Shawn quickly came to Ashley’s side and started coaching her for the next match. Ashley started off slow again but she came from behind to win the 2nd match 5 to 4. This was very exciting to see Ashley come from behind and win the match to tie up the series. The final 3rd match was going to need to be played to determine the 1st place winner. During the final Match Ashley did not start off slow at all and she took the win 5 to 1. We were so excited that Ashley displayed so much courage to come from behind in a difficult match and win 1st place!!

In the picture below Ashley is on the right side and Margaret is on the left. As you can see in the picture both fencers are lunging for an attack but Ashley had right away in this case and she ended up with the point Ashley is showing great form in this picture with her front foot pointed forward and her left arm stretched back to give her great balance in her lunge.

Ashley Fencing at RYC 2007

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Day 2 of USFA Nationals

by Mike Linnen 4. July 2006 14:01
Day 2 of USFA Nationals

Day 2 of Shawn's participation in the USFA Summer Nationals was on Monday 7/30/2006.  Check out Day 1 at USFA Nationals for some previous results.  Also check out the pictures that I posted that were taken during our trip. 

Wake up call at 5:30 am was surprisingly on time.  We headed to breakfast at 6:25am and then we hurried to the lobby to request out car.  How many valets does it take to find your keys you ask?  Well more than two.  After a 12 minute wait I headed in the room to assist in the search.  I searched high and low and finally found them laying on the floor.  Meanwhile Denise stood anxiously starring at her watch as the time we were supposed to check into the fencing tournament arrived.  We hurried on to the World Congress Center and fortunately when we arrived at 7:15am there was no line.  So Shawn checked in for his much anticipated saber event, hurried to base camp to wait to be summoned to the "Piste" (fencing strip).

Shawn's saber event had 97 other fencers.  The initial seading based on previous tournament results placed Shawn in 58.  This meant he fell pretty close to the middle of the other fencers.  After the pools are completed the seeding would be re-evaluated and Shawn would be matched up with his first Direct Elimination opponent. 

The pools started at 8:50am and completed at 9:40am.  Shawn fenced 6 bouts during the pool.  Shawn won 1 and lost 5 bouts.  Most of the bouts were very close and Shawn made them very exciting.  His last bout was where he earned his win.  Shawn used a fencing technique called the line to lure his opponent into a failed attack and then he scored by striking on the opponet's right side.  This worked for 3 of the five points during this bout.  The final score of this bout was 5 to 1 with Shawn as the victor.  Shawn moved up one spot in the seeding after the pools were completed.

After the pools the Direct Elimination (DE) tournament began on strip 44 of the venue.  Shawn's opponent was a little shorter than he was which was an advantage by reach for Shawn.  The DE is a best 2 out of 3 bouts that are 5 points each.  Shawn started off with the first bout on a win that was 5 to 3.  Very impressive start!!  The second bout went to Shawn's opponent in a 2 to 5 loss.  It was going to have to go to the 3rd and final bout to determine who was going to advance to the next round.  This sure makes a parent nervous watching your child get so close to winning his first National DE.  But Shawn ended up coming a little short on the points and he lost the bout 5 to 3. 

Well we once again are very proud of Shawn at how well he did in the USFA Summer Nationals of 2006!  He showed so much determination at doing his best and being a real winner even if he did not advance into the finals of the tournament.  Shawn had a lot of fun doing this tournament and we can all expect to see him at the next Summer Nations that will take place in Miami, Florida next year around the fourth of July. 

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Pictures of the USFA Summer Nationals posted

by Mike Linnen 4. July 2006 13:26
Pictures of the USFA Summer Nationals posted

I uploaded some pictures of the Fencing tournament for anyone that is interested.  For right now I don't have a good way to allow for comments to be left on individual pictures.  So leave any comments about the pictures on this blog entry.

Day 1 of USFA Nationals

by Mike Linnen 2. July 2006 00:28
Day 1 of USFA Nationals

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.

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Shawn Linnen to fence in the Summer Nationals

by Mike Linnen 29. June 2006 16:05
Shawn Linnen to fence in the Summer Nationals

Well it is getting close to the Summer National fencing event that my son Shawn is competing in.  The event is being held at the Georgia World Congress center in Atlanta. This is a huge event. There are over 4,000 fencers competing! It is the largest group of fencers in the nation. This is the event Shawn has been training so hard for (I hear a rocky theme song somewhere). There are 40 fencers from his school that are competing as well.

Shawn will be competing in the Y12 Epee event on Saturday and the Y12 Saber event on Monday. He will be tossed in a pool of other fencers to fence multiple 5 point bouts.  The better he does in these bouts the better he will place in the single elimination tournament.  Once in the single elimination he has to win 2 out of 3, 5 point matches to advance to the next round.

Epee fencing is all about speed and precision. The idea is to stab your opponent before he stabs you. Any part of the opponent’s body is a target. You can even stab him in the shoe if he sticks his foot out to close to you. This may sound a little easy to the untrained couch potato but you have to remember that the opponent can use his weapon to ward off your attack. Often times the bouts are on the defensive side just waiting for the right opportunity to lunge for the attack. This particular event has not been Shawn’s strongest but during his last tournament in Atlanta Georgia he did very well even though it was his first time fencing Epee. So we anticipate an even better performance from Shawn this time around.

Saber fencing is also about speed but focuses on slashing your opponent instead of stabbing. The target area is not so open like Epee. You can only strike the head and upper body including the arms. The opponent’s weapon can also be used as a defense mechanism to stop attacks. Shawn has improved significantly in fencing saber. It is truly his strongest and most well liked weapon to fence with. We believe Shawn will do very well in this event.

Well wish Shawn some good luck!!!

Shawn Fencing

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Marathon

by Mike Linnen 14. March 2004 15:00
Marathon

Well I ran in a relay Marathon today in the Valley of the Sun Marathon.  I had the first 6.2 mile leg of the run.  It started out on a 1 mile run down hill.  Antother 1 or 2 was flat.  The next 2 miles was uphill and it was very tough for me.  The remainder of my part was downhill and I was very glad.  I completed the 6.2 mile journey in around 58 minutes.  Once the results are posted I will know the exact times.

Update:

The results are in and our relay team took 1st place in our division!!!  See the results for the relay here

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Hike Ford Canyon

by Mike Linnen 11. January 2004 08:37
Hike Ford Canyon
Dad and I hiked part of the Ford Canyon trail at the White Tank Mountains Regional Park.  We started at the #9 Area on Ford Canyon road and hiked in 2.5 miles.  We ended up short of the Abondoned Dam but it was real pretty.  The trail started to get tough at about 2.0 miles in where you start getting into the canyon.  Take a look at the Hiking gallery for a couple pictures.

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About the author

Mike Linnen

Software Engineer specializing in Microsoft Technologies

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