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Cornell Fencing
Hello Cornell Fencing Friends and Alumni,
Cornell Men’s and Women’s Fencing had a fabulous winter session complete with leadership training sessions, intense physical conditioning, fencing, movie night, and bowling. We found that a number of our athletes were ringers at the lanes and that their head coach is NOT one of them!
Success at the Penn Invitational
At the close of eight days of training, the women’s team competed at the Penn Invitational. We posted a record of 5-1 and beat Duke for the first time since 2014! Our only loss was a narrow defeat to Penn, 14-13. With a few key athletes back from injuries/World Cup competitions, we are excited for a rematch at Ivies in a couple weeks.
Upcoming Competitions -- Come out and support the team!
  • Cornell Women at Northwestern in Chicago, February 1-2
  • Cornell Men at Johns Hopkins, February 9
  • Ivy League Championships hosted by Harvard, February 8-9
  • NCAA Regionals hosted by Cornell, March 8
Alumni and friends attending Regionals in Ithaca are invited to a cocktail party we are hosting on Saturday evening, March 7, at 6:30pm. If you would like to join us, please email Susan Jennings at:
Giving Day is March 12
We need your support for items such as video replay equipment, travel, equipment, and wall painting and branding for the new locker rooms and fencing room. Everything you give helps us create a better experience for our athletes and takes us one step closer to our goal to win Ivies!!!!  
I know you hear quite a lot from me, so I thought it would be nice for you all to hear from one of our student athletes. Helen Kim is a Junior on the women’s epee squad who transferred to Cornell this year. I hope you enjoy her essay below about the importance of the fencing team to her University experience.

All the best,
Ariana Klinkov
Head Fencing Coach
From left to right, Helen Kim, Marissa Viqueira, Jordan Rusoff, Briana Parris and Esther Bentolila

Fencing as a Transfer Student

A week into my arrival on Cornell campus, I felt like a small fish in a big pond. I had just moved my life over 2,500 miles, across the country, as a transfer student from USC in Los Angeles. Everything felt different at Cornell. The size, weather, and culture of the school shocked me and I genuinely wondered if I would be able to assimilate.
I honestly had not considered joining fencing until my mom encouraged me to reach out to friends I had on the team. USC didn’t have a fencing team, so at that point, I had taken a year and a half long break from the sport. I came to the first practice rusty, sweaty, and anxious. For me, this was a huge step to putting myself out there -entering college as a transfer student is completely different than as a freshman. People were seemingly not as invested in making connections as a sophomore and I found it to be a bit isolating. However, when I entered the salle, the energy was completely different. Every member of the team warmly welcomed me and I immediately felt a sense of belonging and affinity. The connections I made with people on the team make it so easy to love fencing for Cornell. We are a cohesive unit and it's great having people standing behind you, supporting you and cheering you on.
From that day forward, I never regretted my decision to join fencing. Practice is always the best part of my day—even at 7am. It organizes my day in a meaningful way which helps me to keep a tight but manageable schedule. It requires me to always give my best, so I am constantly striving for greatness in fencing, academics, and life in general. Being a student athlete is one of the best decisions I have made about being a student on this campus. It helps me to balance the important aspects of student life on campus.
Transferring from a school and friends whom I loved was undoubtedly the hardest challenge I have ever come across. Ultimately, fencing not only offered me a place on campus, but a community I could take part in. I have met some of my best friends through the team and my favorite moments in college life have been during practices and meets. The Cornell Fencing Team is a special community. The members are genuine and inspiring in a way that I believe brings nuance and character to college athletics. Our coaches are invested in our growth as fencers, students, and people and encourage us in every way possible. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this team and cannot wait to see what the rest of the season holds. Go Big Red

Helen Kim
Support Big Red Fencing
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Cornell Fencing Association · Stifel Fencing Salle, Bartels Hall · Ithaca, NY 14853 · USA

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