Peden helps Blues make point in defending OUA fencing crown

For the first time since the 1980-81 season, the Toronto Varsity Blues have won the men’s and women’s championships in the same year after a commanding performance at the 2008-09 Ontario University Athletics fencing championships this weekend (Feb. 14-15).

The Varsity Blues women successfully defended their OUA title of a year ago, winning all three individual weapons events as well as all three team events on Saturday. Mandy Lau (Toronto) won the Maitre Ken Wood trophy in foil, teammate Hilary Peden (Oakville) was awarded the Dr. Al English trophy in epée, while Alison Doyle (Troy, N.Y.) earned the Fred Wach trophy in sabre.

The Varsity Blues finished with 312 points, 114 ahead of the second-place Royal Military College Paladins (198). The Western Mustangs completed the top-three with 148 points.

It is the ninth OUA women’s title in school history.

Toronto’s men faced a much bigger challenge but managed to edge out the two-time defending OUA champion RMC Paladins in exciting fashion. This championship came down to the wire and was decided in the final bouts on Sunday.

Thirty-six points separated first through third and Toronto was ahead of everyone with 227 points to claim the Charles Walters trophy for the first time since 2005-06 and the 30th time in school history. RMC f finished with 216 for second place, while the Carleton Ravens ended the day in third with 191. Toronto, RMC and Carleton won the foil, epée and sabre team titles, respectively.

Varsity Blues fencer Hans Wolfgramm (Toronto) won the Charles Walter trophy as individual men’s foil champion. Mark Jones (London) of the Mustangs was awarded the Desjarlais trophy in epée while Carleton’s Ben Riley (Osgoode, Ont.) was the Schwende-Tully trophy winner in sabre.

Varsity Blues head coach and former U of T fencer, Thomas Nguyen, was awarded the Christian Virdosa trophy as fencing’s coach of the year.

Riley was awarded the George Tulley trophy, while Varsity Blues fencer Joanne Ko (Toronto) was honoured with the Dave O’Donnell award. These awards are presented annually to the male and female fencer who best displays skill, style and sportsmanship.

The top three fencers in each discipline are named OUA All-Stars. They include silver medalist Claire Midgley (Calgary) of the Varsity Blues and bronze medal winner Nicky Sapera (Edmonton) of RMC in women’s foil; silver medalist Ko and bronze medalist Andrea Csiba (London) of the Mustangs in women’s epée; silver medal winner Adrienne Sukunda (Gloucester) and bronze medalist Katrina Ross (Windchester), both of Carleton, in women’s sabre; silver medalist Tio Raharjo (Calgary) of RMC and bronze medalist Kamil Karbonowski (Milton) of the Varsity Blues in men’s foil; silver medal winner Andriy Mnih (Etobicoke) of the Varsity Blues and bronze medalist Brendan Kilburn (Kingston) of RMC in men’s epée; and Varsity Blues silver medalist Alex Edmonds (Kitchener) and bronze medal winner Oli Belanger-Nzakimuena (Fort McMurray, Alta.) of RMC in men’s sabre.