NCAA Champions Penn State

Penn State homepageI was pleasantly surprised to find this pop-up on the Penn State Athletics page! Congrats to Penn State on their 13th NCAA Championship Title! Yea yea, wrestling is sharing the page, but they also won this weekend. It reminds me of how my fencing practice space at NYAC shares the basement with wrestling. And my dad was a wrestler. Maybe fencing and wrestling have more in common than we think…

Congrats to all the NJ fencers that competed in the NCAAs as well! Here are some results from NJ:Cooper Schumacher 8th ME (Pompton Lakes)
Charles Clark 16th ME (Teaneck)
Brian Kaneshige 8th MF (Columbia)
Andrew Kelly 24th MS (Columbia)
Ashley Severson 10th WE (Ramapo)
Jackie Dubrovich 3rd WF (Pompton Lakes)
Jennifer Yamin 23rd WF (Northern Highlands)
Ambika Singh 9th WF (Montgomery)
Alisha Gomez-Shah 18th WS (Wayne Hills)
Celina Merza 9th WS (Wayne Hills)

Let me know if I forgot anyone!

Progress into Post

As I finally get back to my own fencing training, people have been asking me, “how is the film is going?” So I figured it was time for a little update…

The film is going well but we’re far from finished. One of the major components of the film, the NJ high school fencing season, wraps up tomorrow with the All-State awards luncheon. The NJIFA recognizes the top fencers from the season at this nice event that I’ve been privy to attend as a fencer and coach. I’m attending the event now as a filmmaker, but also as a fan of the sport. I’ve also been able to attend many of the team banquets that celebrate the season and award the students for their contributions to the team.

So now what?

While our fundraiser on IndieGoGo was a great way to raise the awareness of the project, we still are miles away from funding this project. The challenge now is, how to raise the funds to complete the editing of the film and pay the crew involved on the project. I’ll be honest, they don’t teach you this stuff in grad school. Fundraising is its own THING. I remember reading somewhere that to make a documentary film, you spend 80% of your time figuring out how to raise the money and 20% of your time making the film. I’m starting to believe that after making this pie chart of where my time has been spent since beginning the project in 2012:




While I am most excited for post-production to begin, I can’t even start until the rest of the budget is in place. If I were to guess, that piece of the pie for Grant Writing/Emails is going to get bigger. I might have to add a new slice for “Out-of-the-box Fundraising Tactics”. Haha, such is the life of documentary filmmaking.

If everything works out, I am hoping to have a rough cut of the film ready by this time next year. If not, we’re all going to have to wait a lot longer for the film to be finished. And if you’re wondering how much I’m talking about, figure it’s $2000/final min on screen. Here’s a great article about funding for documentaries I also posted on Facebook:

If you’re wondering how you can donate to this project, our link is still live on Fractured Atlas. Donations receive a tax-deductible receipt through our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor! 🙂

Fantasy Fencing 2014

You can draft your own NCAA fencing team!

The Fencing Athlete

Hi everyone,

I’ve recently taken on a new project with the help of my good friend and former Princeton roommate, Ed Kelley and his programming brilliance. This year we are going to make Fantasy Fencing a reality for the collegiate championships. You will be able to build a team from the list of competitors, then watch and cheer for your fencers when they compete in the live event March 20th-23rd, 2014.

Using an automated draft process, you will assemble a full 12 person team of your favorite fencers from the participants list to compete against other users to win the fantasy team title.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

Step 1: Go to and sign in with your Facebook account. (Anyone can join)

Step 2:  Next, rank-order your favorite fencers in each of the 6 disciplines (ME, WE, MF, WF, MS, WS) by clicking…

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2014 NCAA Fencing Championship Quick Hits (Day 1)

The Fencing Coach

Cover_HARV_Caroline_Vloka Photo Credit:

Women’s Saber

  • You’re on fire when you’re 13-2 with a +45 indicator, but that’s Adrienne Jarocki’s start. Jarocki, my pick to win has been unstoppable today, dropping only a 5-4 bout to teammate Aliya Itkowitz (also in my top 4) and to Joanna Lew of Yale. Despite her hot start, Jarocki has a few difficult bouts ahead of her with Rohan (Stanford), Litynski (UNC), Stone (PRI), and Wheeler (PRI), but I expect Jarocki to finish with the one spot into the finals.
  • If the Women’s Saber event were to go into finals this evening, I’d be 4/4 on my top 4 picks. Which leads me to believe I’ll be in for a sour surprise tomorrow. Or not.
  • This event is still anyone’s game. Outside of the top four, you have Alexa Antipas  (OSU) knocking on the door with a 10-5 record, and Teodora Kakhiani (PSU) knocking on…

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NJ Individual State Champions

As fencing is ultimately an individual sport, we also filmed the NJSIAA State Individuals at Montgomery High School this weekend. Check out the medal winner below:

WS Indiv 2014Francesca Russo wins an historic fourth title as the NJSIAA Girl’s Sabre champion!

WE Indiv 2014Independent fencer, Dariya Yefremenko, wins Girl’s Epee representing Colts Neck, NJ

ME Indiv 2014Montclair’s Lucas Della Bella won the Boy’s Epee title in the day’s only gold medal fence-off with Columbia’s Bryn Hammarberg.

Nicole Vaiani of Ranney (left) and John Vaiani of CBA (right) became the first brother-sister Foil pair to win state titles in the same year.

WF Indiv 2014

MF Indiv 2014

Eddie Chin took gold for Livingston in Boy’s Sabre.

MS Indiv 2014