Local athletes excel at Las Vegas fencing invitational

ST. GEORGE — Members of Utah Fencing Academy traveled to Las Vegas on Saturday for Desert Blades Youth Tournament and, in a show of force, seven fencers competed in four events and finished the day with nine medals: four gold, three silver, and two bronze. The first medal of the day was won by Joseph Phillips. He defeated Ethan Osan from Red Rock Fencing Center, 15-11 in the final match of  Youth 14 Sabre.

UFA's Joseph Phillips won gold in the Youth 14 Sabre event at the Desert Blades Youth Tournament in Las Vegas | Photo courtesy UFA
UFA’s Joseph Phillips won gold in the Youth 14 Sabre event at the Desert Blades Youth Tournament in Las Vegas | Photo courtesy UFA

Gabriel Pinna and Jack Gibson placed first and second in Youth 8 foil. Both fencers have been fencing for 6 months.

Xavier Pinna defeated younger brother Gabriel Pinna twice, 5-3 and 5-4, to win Youth 12 foil. Jack Gibson earned third place after losing to Xavier in the top four.

In the Youth 14 foil event, Raphael Pinna beat teammate Joseph Phillips 15-12 in the semifinals. Pinna went on to fence and win against his cousin Leann Labra in an intense bout that went point for point until Pinna pulled away to win 15-12 in the final period.

The Utah Fencing Academy is a local club meant to bring the sport of fencing to those who may be interested.

UFA coach Parker Miner (right) poses with Youth 14 Foil event gold medalist Raphael Pinna at the Desert Blades Youth Tournament in Las Vegas | Photo courtesy UFA
UFA coach Parker Miner (right) poses with Youth 14 Foil event gold medalist Raphael Pinna at the Desert Blades Youth Tournament in Las Vegas | Photo courtesy UFA

From their website: “Utah Fencing Academy (UFA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an opportunity for fencers in the Southern Utah region. UFA was founded in 2009 to bring the Olympic sport to Southern Utah.”

UFA director and coach Parker Miner said the club is available to all ages and that he especially enjoys coaching young people. Fencers from the UFA earned a dozen medals at last year’s Utah Summer Games and should factor in the Games this year, which are coming up in June.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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