Once again I found myself behind the wheel driving at warp speed in the direction of Richmond, KY and the EKU campus for the USFA's Kentucky Division Derby Open Sectional tournament
It was being hosted by the Bluegrass Fencers Club once again, but most of the folks taking home medals were from Da Ville and the Louisville Fencing Center. Bluegrass grabbed their share of them as well.
This was a qualifying tournament for the Summer Nationals being held in San Jose, CA July 1-10. Dawn already qualified for that one, so she was competing in this tournament as part of her Summer Nationals training runup. In addition, we were also on the road early because as a dibision officer, she was going to help set up the Weaver Gym for the tournament.
I'd dropped her off at work that morning so I could get the fluids checked out in Wildcat, my nickname for her blue Volvo. After I spent a few hours that morning accomplishing that task, I crawled into bed to get some sleep for the hour run to Richmond, which is just south of Lexington on I-75.
After battling evening rush hour traffic on Shelbyville Rd and Hurstbourne Pkwy to go pick her up, we got rolling around 6:30 PM EDT. I made our obligatory cheap gas shop in Waddy, KY ($3.45) 50 miles east of Da Ville. I was mildly pissed when I arrived in Richmond an hour later and noted it was selling there for $3.39 a gallon.
We arrive at the gym at 8 PM to discover that it was locked, lights dimmed and the fencing strips had already been set up. We werr hungry, so we headed to the hotel on the other side of I-75 near the campus, checked into our rooms and went foraging for food.
In addition to being a nationally ranked Veteran's Division fencer, she's the board secretary for the KY division. There was a division board meeeting scheduled to start after the tournnament was over, so I knew Saturday was going to be a long day. After watching the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica while she got in contact with fellow board members to talk business, I crashed.
The next morning we're there at Weaver Gym bright and early. She was helping check in contestants for the epee competition since sabre wasn't starting until 11 AM. I grabbed a notepad and started jotting down some notes and ideas for future posts and reviewed my speech once again for the upcoming Trans Pride march while I waited for her competition to start. Her training partner Johann Gorr arrived a few minutes before the check in deadline for the sabre competiton.
As I've mentioned before, Dawn is no joke in the fencing community. She's ranked tenth in the nation and has been a a hot streak lately. She just finished winning the Knight of Swords club championship tourney, and after going through her pool boots at the Derby Open ended up seeded number two and with a first round bye because she lost to Johann in pools.
They did meet again in the champiuonship match, but only after Dawn survived a stiff challenge from a brother fencer and med student fencing for UK. Frederick had beaten her in a previous tournament and gave her all she wanted in this match. She eventually pulled out 15-13 after switching tactics on him and getting three straight touches to close it out.
Dawn and Johann's match looked like a Johann blowout at first. He was up 8-3 at the break and eventually galloped out to an 11-5 lead before Dawn started a finishing spurt that almost garnered her the victory. She closed to 12-10 before Johann regained his composure and won 15-10. She did finish first in Women's sabre and second overall in the Derby Open sabre competition.
The LFC fencers cleaned up at this tournament along with their hosts from Bluegrass Fencers Club. Some of the UK fencers also qualified for Summer Nationals as well. We also saw the emergence of another Kiefer family fencer, Alexandra and Lee's little brother. He's already a medal winning terror and he's just 13.
She's has another tournament she's competing in at LFC this coming weekend, and I'll probably be there for that one as well.