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Absolute Fencing Gear and USA Fencing Award Scholarships and Honor All-Academic Team

07/09/2011, 1:56am CDT
By No Author

(Reno, Nev.) – Four USA Fencing athletes were honored for their achievements inside the classroom on July 4 and a total of 218 fencers were named to the First, Second and Honorable Mention All-Academic Teams during a ceremony at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Absolute Fencing Gear sponsored $10,000 in scholarships to four of the top student athletes in the nation.

Evan Arnold (Fair Oaks, Calif.) and Sarah Dzielski (Rochester, N.Y.) were each named to the First Team and received $4,000 scholarships in honor of both their high school academic achievements as well as outstanding application essays. Arnold is an incoming senior at Jesuit High School who fences for Sacramento Fencing Club and will be competing in the Division II and Division III saber events later this week. Dzielski also is a saber fencer who represents the Rochester Fencing Club. An incoming junior at West Irondequoit High School, Dzielski won the Division III gold medal at the North American Cup in Detroit in March and competed in both the U16 and U19 saber events in Reno.

The $4,000 scholarships were awarded based on an aggregate score that combined athletes’ GPAs as well as a score assigned by a panel of raters to each essay.  

“The essays gave the raters a chance to meet more than 200 outstanding young men and women, whose essays universally expressed the deep passion our sport engenders as well as the lessons it teaches,” said USA Fencing President Kalle Weeks (Morristown, N.J.) “They also revealed the enormous variety of activities and interests the writers have outside the sport and school activities.  Some essays were delightfully humorous, some told of events that brought tears to our eyes and all demonstrated what makes those who practice our sport the truly outstanding young people that they are.” 

Two $1,000 scholarships also were awarded to athletes who had outstanding essays.

First Team All-Academic Team member Ryan Connor (Lincoln, R.I.) and Honorable Mention Team member Nora Demick (Watertown, Mass.) each will receive $1,000.

An incoming sophomore at Lincoln High School, Connor is an epee fencer at Rhode Island Fencing Academy who competed in three epee events this week – U16, U19 and Division II. Demick is an incoming senior who fences for Beaver Country Day School.

During the ceremony, Weeks thanked Absolute Fencing for sponsoring the scholarship awards this year and announced that Absolute will continue its support of the program in 2012.

“As sponsors of the All-Academic Team program, we would like to congratulate Gary Lu and Amanda Ranning of Absolute Fencing for their support of our young athletes as they pursue excellence not only on the strip but also in their academic endeavors,” Weeks said during the presentation ceremony.

Weeks also thanked members of the committee who joined her in reviewing the competition essays.

“Thanks are also due to Mary Griffith, Jennie Salmon and Kate Sierra who contributed their expertise and time, establishing scoring rubrics and serving as raters for the several rounds of evaluation of the essays,” Weeks said.

In addition to the scholarship winners, all 218 members of the 2011 All-Academic Teams were invited to the ceremony to be recognized with a certificate for their achievements.

Click here to view the complete list of All-Academic Team honorees.

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