ANNANDALE, NJ -- The Ridge High School boys and girls fencing teams had a full weekend of fencing at North Hunterdon High School for the NJSIAA Squad State Championships. The 20 top ranked boys and girls teams took to the fencing strips to compete for state titles in sabre, foil, and epee.
The boys led off on Saturday, Feb. 22. After a long six hours of fencing, both the foil and epee squads claimed the gold. The foil squad won 48 of 57 bouts on the day to best second place Northern Highlands with 45 wins, and third place Bernards with 44 wins. Senior Eric Liu on the A strip provided 15 out of 19 wins, freshman Lawrence Han went 17 for 19 on the B strip, and sophomore Ryan Shadpoor was 16 of 19 on the C strip.
The epee squad successfully defended their 2019 title as the best squad in the state. Junior Allen Marakov took home 17 of 19 wins on the A strip, senior Clark Kokenge was 16 for 19 on the B strip, and sophomore Eric Wang was almost perfect on the day with 18 of 19 wins. These 51 total wins on the day bested second place Vorhees with 40 wins, and third place Chatham with 36 wins.
The girls’ squads competed for hardware on Sunday, Feb 23. The Ridge foil squad improved from a bronze medal in 2019 to claim silver this year. Senior Liz Yugov went 15/19 on the A strip, sophomore Lucy Liao was 17 for 19 on the B strip, and sophomore Madison Clowes 17 for 19 on the C strip. A total of 49 bout wins put them 4 wins behind first place Northern Highlands with 53 wins, and 9 wins ahead of third place Chatham with 40 wins.
The epee squad fought to a fourth-place finish in a strong field. Senior Diya Kulkarni went 14 out of 19 on the A strip, Junior Jillian Yao was 13 for 19 on the B strip and Elizabeth Chan 15 for 19 on the C strip. Their 42 wins on the day put them just short of the bronze, which was captured by Montgomery with 45 victories.
For the sabre squad, senior Andrea Tirado was 9 for 19 on the A strip, junior Ishita Goel was also 9 for 19 on the B strip, and senior Sameera Mathias was 11 wins out of 19 on the C strip.
On Wednesday, Feb. 26 both Ridge girls and boys will battle for state team titles at Morris Hills high school. The championships will take place at 7:30 p.m. with the girls vs. Montgomery and the boys vs. Newark Academy.