Huntington High School hosted the Alan Kuver Memorial Relay last Saturday and the Blue Devils looked sharp in the competition, which played out in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium and the school cafeteria.
Huntington chamber choir star vocalist Katherine Eichenberger sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the daylong event. Commack epee fencer Valerie Slackman used American Sign Language to interpret the song for the numerous hearing impaired fencers on the competing teams, including the Blue Devils.
“I teach at a school for the deaf, so I like the idea of exposing people to different things that they will see in the world,” Huntington head coach Michelle O’Brien said.
State power Ward Melville won the overall boys’ and girls’ team titles, but Huntington realized success in all three styles throughout the day.
Huntington and Ward Melville were joined by squads from Lindenhurst, Walt Whitman, Commack, Half Hollow Hills, Brentwood, Sayville and Manhasset.
The competition was named in honor of 1984 Huntington graduate and longtime Blue Devil fencing coach Alan Kuver, who passed away on July 1, 2014 after an intense battle against esophageal cancer.
Competing high schools entered multiple teams of fencers into different events, giving the groups catchy names. For example, Huntington’s “Diego’s Dinosaurs” won the boys’ novice foil event team title. “Huntington’s Fire Pokers” captured second place in novice epee for the Blue Devils. Huntington took third in the boys’ novice sabre competition.
“All women’s novice teams (novice is defined as having less than two years fencing experience) moved to fence more experienced squads in the varsity event since slots were available and it meant more fencing opportunities,” O’Brien explained. “In a few instances weapons merged with other schools to fill a team. Our novice foil merged with Lindenhurst to become the ‘Devil Dogs’ (Blue Devils and Bulldogs). Sabre was also the Devil Dogs as a mix of us, Lindy and Ward Melville due to one Huntington fencer’s illness and epee was a combination of us, Commack and Ward Melville and was named ‘Triple Threat.’”
In the varsity competition, the Blue Devils’ men’s epee team named “Huntington’s Miami Heat” finished fifth in a field of ten. The men’s foil team named “Huntington’s Bagel Trio” placed sixth out of ten. The men’s sabre team that went by the name of “Huntington’s One Touch Wonders” finished fourth out of 11 competing squads.
Huntington had three epee squads finish in the top 12. The Blue Devils’ “Red Converse” foil team placed fourth in that style. In sabre, Huntington’s “Ah-ha” team finished fourth and the “Devil Dogs” placed tenth.
“The event ran very well and the cooperation between schools was terrific,” O’Brien said. “Alan Kuver would be proud.”
The Huntington girls’ squad features eighth grader Uma Shtrom; freshmen Mackenzie Ahern, Fiona Brosnan, Emely Cruz, Aislyn Franciscovich, Lilianna LaVertu, Allison Malone and Haileigh Smith; sophomores Madelyn Bavaro, Alexandra Kustera, Michelle Lopez and Emily Roberts; juniors Adora Colay, Emma Guba, Sasha Koulakova, Vivienne LaVertu, Aileen Lopez and Jose Molina Echevarria; seniors Josefina Fasolino, Sara Modaresizadeh and Akira Selleri.
The Blue Devil boys’ team’s roster includes seventh graders Brandon Cohen, Thomas Davis and Thomas Galicia-Martinez; eighth graders Jake Amend, Benjamin Edgar-McNerney and Chase Williams; freshmen Jeffrey Garcia-Cabrera, Timothy Kusterbeck and Liam Tucker; sophomores David Canas Grandados, Axel Cattano, Luca D’Anna, James Kretschmer and Matthew Mead; juniors John Holly, Gabriel Moskovitch, Miles Tierney and Baris Toprak; seniors Neil Jean-Baptiste, Paul Katigbak, Nicholas Kretschmer, Gabriel Medina-Jaudes, Diego Torres, Riley Tucker and Brandon Varady.