Co-News Editor, Web Manager
For Jake and Wes Weicht, jabbing at each other with metal sticks is a past-time that has more meaning than typical brotherly fighting. The brothers, identical twins and freshman at McDaniel, are fencers.
For six years, since they were 12 years old, the Weicht brothers have been fencing for the Baltimore Fencing Center.
“[Wes] would hit me with sticks so my parents thought we should find a safer way to do that,” said Jake. “They signed us up for fencing.”
Both brothers are ‘A’ ranked fencers, the highest rank, having worked their way up by competing in and winning tournaments. Two years ago, in their junior year of high school, they were both nationally ranked, Wes was ranked third and Jake seventh in the nation, for their division of é p é e fencing.
É p é e, one of three divisions of fencing, is “more sophisticated than foil,” according to Wes. With foil, a fencer can only get points by hitting a small target area in the chest region. With é p é e, on the other hand, the target area is anywhere on the body.
The third division, saber, differs in when a fencer can earn points, and all three divisions differ in the types of blades used.
Though they learned fencing together, the brothers have very distinct fencing strategies. Wes said he is more passive, and would rather wait for the time period to be up once he has the points he needs. Jake, however, is more aggressive.
“His theory,” said Wes of his brother, “is to go harder and faster the next time, rather than waiting.”
Jake and Wes are both a little different than other fencers that they face, in that they enjoy talking while fencing. In fact, in one tournament, when the two were fencing for the championship, the referee told them to stop talking because he felt they were disruptive.
“People were actually betting on our match,” said Jake, who recalled that viewers put money on which brother would get to 15 points first to with the championship. When the two found out, they decided to end the match at 14 points by letting the time run out.
The Weichts have also participated in team fencing, which consists of three fencers and a substitute. Team score accumulatively in a tournament system.
“Fencing is mostly individual, even when you’re on a team,” said Wes.
One year, the brothers beat the ‘B’ team of the New York Athletic Club, which is the back-up team to the team that the US sends to the Olympics. “That was pretty cool,” said Jake.
Although they continue to practice with the Baltimore Fencing Center, Jake and Wes have decided to stay more local for their first year in college. Fencing has not, however, been pushed aside. While it used to occupy five days of their week, the brothers are now trying to keep it to weekends, and keep their tournaments more local.
They are also trying to get a fencing club started on campus and already have a few friends interested.