Three high school freshmen of the University of the East (UE) fencing team proved ready for the varsity season as Nicol Canlas, Mika Ragot and Willa Galvez all made podium finishes in the recent Allstar Hong Kong (U17) Fencing Championships 2023 in Kawloon Bay.
Canlas finished with a four-medal haul as she dominated the under-12 girls’ sabre and then earned two silver medals in the under-12 mixed team and in the under-14 girls’ sabre team. A seventh grader at UE, she also had a bronze medal in the under-14 girls’ sabre category.
“It’s always a proud moment every time we get a medal. We’re just happy to win medals for our country, for the school and for our respective families,” said Canlas.
Ragot, also a Grade 7 student, placed second in the under-12 girls’ epee to get a silver medal in the three-day meet.
Galvez, on the other hand, finished with a triple bronze haul as she placed tied for fourth with Canlas Fencing teammate Yuna Canlas in the under-12 girls’ foil division of the tournament organized by the Hong Kong Fencing School.
Galvez also anchored her CF Team A with Marian Castro, Hagia del Castillo and Lily Juico to a come-from-behind 45-43 win over Singapore’s Z Fencing in the under-14 girls’ foil event.
Galvez also helped the CF Team A with Iñigo Divinagracia, Lucas Palafox and Kyle Dy to another bronze medal following a 45-12 victory against Republic Fencing in the under-12 mixed foil team event.
“It’s always a good experience for us fencers—especially us three who are newcomers for the UE high school fencing team—every time we get to compete abroad, against other fencers from other countries. We’ll surely bring the learning as we continue to prepare for other events like the UAAP,” said Galvez.
Canlas, Ragot and Galvez, as well as Juliana Jimenez, who got a medal by placing No. 8 in under-17 girl’s epee, are expected to compete in Season 86 of the UAAP Fencing Championship in February next year.
The combined CF/UE team went home with a total of 14 gold medals, including nine in individual category, two from Red Warriors veterans Louis Shoemaker and James Lim, both returning high school fencers for UE, and Brynt Gale in the boys’ division, as well as Sophia Catantan and Aubrey Fernandez in girls’ category.
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