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franklin county times

First round completed, adults compete today

By By Larry Gostkowski/special to The Star
June 23, 2002
MERIDIAN While they may not know an epee from foil or a riposte from a remise, hundreds of shoppers at the Bonita Lakes Mall got their first taste of the exciting sport of fencing on Saturday, as the first four rounds of the Games' fencing competition were on display right in the heart of the mall.
This is the second year that the mall is serving as the venue for this uniquely individual sporting event, which claims to have some 150 participants in the State of Mississippi. Many of them were here for what veteran fencer and coach Rez Johnson considers Mississippi's premier fencing competition.
Johnson operates the largest fencing club in the state, in Jackson, and has over 50 members from ages 7-65.
Couches and chairs surrounded the temporary arena and the seats were filled all day by curious shoppers, making the mall one of the most comfortable venues of the Games. They watched as the U-10s, U-12s, U-14s and U-17s competed for the gold.
Today's event which begins at 1:00 pm, features the adult age group, and is guaranteed to be an exciting display of the finest fencers in the State. Today's action will also feature the event's only female competitor, Diane Herriot, who will compete head on with the men in her quest for a medal.
Herriot carries a "D" rating after four years of competition. The ratings go from A (Olympic level) through E, as well as unrated fencers U.
There is good news perhaps for Herriot as two of the State's top fencers, Johnson and David Williams, also from the Jackson area, are sidelined due to injuries. However Williams' son, Ken, one of the State's finest, and winner of the U-17 event, will also compete today.
The final results of the youth division were not available at presstime.

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