last tuesday i left for Colorado Springs, CO to support my teammates at the NCAA fencing championships. it was quite the trip. Those who drove were 4: Steve, Mad Dog, Matty, and myself. the first 18 hours of our drive out there were fine; until we arrived in Colorado amid the aftermath of one of their worst blizzards in years. I-70 was closed 12 miles into Colorado despite the fact that there was nary a snowflake on the ground. we detoured to CO-25 which was also closed. we detoured to CO-40, closed. we ended up going all the way to Pueblo and then drove north till we arrived in Colorado Springs. 8 miles south of Colorado Springs we finally saw some snow, by the next day most of it had melted.
we beat the team out there despite leaving after they did. they’re flight was laid over at St. Louis and the next day they had a connection in Houston before finally getting into Colorado. the tournament was supposed to start on Thursday and conclude on Sunday but since none of the teams could make it out on time they rescheduled and had a combined tournament lasting all day saturday and all day sunday. tough stuff with the altitude.
that left us with two full days to kill. since the Super 8 we were staying at was literally 30 feet from the Drury Inn where the rest of the team was, most of our time was spent over there goofing around, utilizing the hot tub, etc. Janusz was glad we were out there so we didn’t have to pay for our meals for most of the trip. we went to a bar one night, saw Chicago as a team and ate and ate and ate. the night before the tournament we had a team meeting and everyone got their goals.
the first day of competition was intense. our fencers dropped a few bouts here and there, and the directing was a bit trying at times, but by the end of the day we had a nice cushion in 1st place, although we still knew it was going to be quite close. the 2nd and final day was a rollercoaster of emotion the entire day. we were only up by one bout in the final round with Penn State right on our heels. we needed any combination of 3 ND wins or 3 PSU losses to secure the victory. we won. there was pandemonium. all of those clich s about winning and being a champion…are true when you really are one.
our AD Bernard took us to Carrabba’s an ber-nice Italian place in celebration. once we got back to the hotel a few folks went on an alcohol run and a bunch of us went to the bars. i like tequila shots. we played a few games of pool, just relaxed with our team and a few people from the other midwest teams. then we went back to the hotel, partied a bit more and hit the road home. (Mad Dog drove first, he hadn’t partaken because he is on antibiotics). 20 hours later we arrived in South Bend. exhausted but victorious.
i cannot speak, my voice is shot from yelling. i shot plenty of footage to make a sweetass video and took a ton of pictures. we are champions! i am a champion! w00t!