WEST MILFORD West Milford's Sarah Silvestri has qualified for the state tournament in fencing. The senior standout qualified at the District 4 Fencing Tournament held at Fair Lawn High School last Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. The boys Epee squad earned a team spot in the state Sweet 16.
Twelve high school girls teams and 11 boys teams were represented at the day-long event.
Sarah, who competes as a sabre, stepped onto the strip on Saturday with just one goal in mind: to make it into the coveted top 5 and qualify to compete at states. When the day was over, she did just that.
The first round ranks the teams as well as providing individual records that serve to dramatically narrow the field to the top nine competitors per weapon.Making the cut to the district final round, where the caliper of competition is stellar, is a huge accomplishment.
In the final round, each fencer faces each opponent once and only the top five from each weapon qualify for the state competition. Finalists qualifying from districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, along with a hand-full of independents, ultimately about 20 to 25 per weapon, the best in New Jersey, will meet in March for the state championship.
West Milford was well represented at the District 4 Tournament. The boys Epee squad was strong enough to earn a team spot in the Sweet 16. Emerging from the boys Epee squad to compete in the individual final round were juniors Ryan McCarthy and Morgan Bailey. Ryan and Morgan finished 7th and 8th respectively. Also making the final round from the Highlander boys Foil Squad was senior Ryan Phelps who finished 6th in the individual round.
On the girls side,, Jess Rolando, a junior, also made it to the final round for foil.
At the Passaic County Tournament held two weeks earlier, Jess placed first in foil while Sarah placed second in sabre.