Big Red fencers compete at the Attila Petschauer Open; Fotinatos earns C2010 in saber

06 Sep 2010
Posted by Mike Fotinatos

Mike Fotinatos's picture

Three Big Red fencers drove down to Vassar College this weekend to fence in the Attila Petschauer Open, one of the largest local saber events in the Northeast region.  With 56 competitors, the A2 competition marked a solid start of the season for Mike Fotinatos ’12, Zach Silversmith ’13, and freshman newcomer Matt Joe.  Fotinatos, though primarily a foilist, enjoys fencing saber recreationally and entered the event.
Fotinatos and Silversmith started the day out strong, both going 5-1 in their pools.  Joe fenced well, but had received a foot injury from a recent practice, making footwork difficult.  He soldiered through his pool, finishing 3-3.
Moving into the direct elimination tableau, Silversmith and Fotinatos both received a BYE, seeding 6th and 8th respectively.  Joe, after re-bandaging his foot, felt more comfortable and ready for action, looking to improve on his 31st seed.
All three Cornell fencers won their first elimination bouts fairly easily.  Advancing into the second round, Joe unfortunately drew Vassar’s Andrew Fischl (who eventually won the tournament) and fell in the round of 32.  Despite his injuries, he ultimately finished in the middle of the pack, placing 28th on the day.
Silversmith defeated his opponent in the round of 32 to advance into the 16’s.  Here he received another difficult opponent, Stas Gutkovskiy, who was a national foil champion of Belarus and ironically, Mike’s coach.  Although Zach fenced well, he struggled against the experienced veteran’s foil technique, losing by a close margin of 15-13.  His excellent pool results however earned him a highly respectable 10th place finish.
Though expecting to fence the 9th seed to enter the top 8, a close upset in an earlier round put Fotinatos against the 24th seed.  Finding himself down 8-4 at the break, Mike composed himself and stayed on the defensive, tying the score at 8-8 and eventually winning the bout 15-12.  Though his gaggle of foil moves had been successful throughout the day, he finally drew Andrew Fischl in the top 8 and was defeated.  Placing 5th overall, Mike earned a C2010 for his efforts.   

Poughkeepsie, NY


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