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CyFair ISD News

Dedication propels Jersey Village freshman toward fencing stardom

Posted: Nov 4th, 2016 22:05

1104 JVHS Fencing.jpg

During fencing practice at the Alliance Fencing Academy, Jersey Village High School freshman Ariana Rausch and sophomore Adriana Friederich spar to sharpen their skills for their next competition. (Photo by Natalie Dostert)

By Damaris De León, Jersey Village HS

Nov. 4, 2016—The sound of sabre against sabre echoed in the gym as the opponents faced each other on the mat, practicing their moves with precision.

For Ariana Rausch, Jersey Village High School freshman, the sport of fencing seemingly consumed her time. Rausch, who has been fencing since the early age of 8, was introduced to the sport through her mother’s friend, whose daughter, a friend of Rausch, fenced herself.

Since then, Rausch has earned a spot on the U.S. team, the international team, received the highest possible ranking, and ranked third in the country in the youth 14 age group. Rausch’s experience at Alliance Fencing Academy has allowed her to travel the country and meet people from around the globe.

“I made so many new friends who support and help me,” Rausch said. “I became surrounded by goal-oriented people who drove me and led me to strive to be like them or better than them.”

But well-deserved, high-ranking titles did not come easily for Rausch, who practices at least 2 1/2 hours on weekdays and 5 hours on weekends. In order to travel the country for tournaments, Rausch depends on the help of her teachers and the district.

“The only way I am able to compete in all these tournaments and not have excessive absences is through off-campus P.E. and asking my teachers to allow me to take schoolwork with me,” Rausch said.

Rausch’s journey as a fencer has led her to encounter fencers and coaches from all around the world, like Adriana Friederich, Jersey Village High School sophomore, who followed her coach from Germany to Houston this past summer and lived with Rausch.

“I came to Houston in order to train with my coach again,” Friederich said. “I have always wanted to spend half a year in another country and get this experience and improve my English skills. Fencing allowed me to travel Europe for competitions and now the U.S. too. I can’t wait to get to know the country better.”

Friederich has also been fencing for a number of years and initially took on the sport because her father fenced. Since the beginning of her fencing career she has become a member of the National German Champion Cadets 2016, the German Cadet Team, and received an A16 U.S. ranking.

“The Houston club is much larger than my club in Germany and the coaching is a bit different. In Germany, every student works with one coach and at Alliance we each work with three coaches,” Friederich said.

Regardless of both young women having different long-term fencing goals, they cherish the time they spend bonding over the sport.

“Talking about fencing at dinner and having someone to attend tournaments with is nice,” Rausch said.

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