WESTFIELD, NJ — Sean Crann’s improvements have taken him to the next level in his high school fencing career.

As an independent, Crann finished in first place at the District 4 Championships on Jan. 25 while representing Westfield. Crann has been fencing since he was in fourth grade, where he started as a saber fencer, before transferring to épée, which he was most suited for because of his height.

During middle school, Crann focused on other sports, before being reintroduced to fencing in his freshman year, through the Westfield Fencing Club. Crann also fences for the New Jersey Fencing Alliance, out of Maplewood. There is no fencing team at Westfield High School.

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“It is definitely challenging to not have a team at the high school,” Crann said. “When it comes to competing as an individual, the spotlight tends to fall on me very frequently. I always have to stay motivated and be very confident while fencing.”

Fencing is a less commonly played sport, and Sean’s father, Patrick, noted its challenges.

“I am fascinated by the work ethic and dedication an elite fencer must put in to be successful,” Patrick Crann said. “It is considered ‘physical chess’ to many, and it is a very cerebral sport. It is not just important to have to good footwork, but mental toughness is also very important in being successful.”

Sean has improved greatly since beginning his high school fencing career last year. He takes lessons with Alejandro Teran, who competed at the highest level at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“Sean continues to become more confident, focused and disciplined while fencing at the level he competes at,” Patrick said.

The sophomore epee fencer has earned a berth in the NJSIAA State Tournament Individual Weapon Championships, which will be held on March 1.

Michael Siroty is a freshman at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.

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