Ella Webb: Fencer Extraordinaire

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Ella Webb

Ella Webb '22, fences at competition in Paris, France this year.

Sophia Bouwkamp, Staff Writer

Our school is known for athletics and our “Tradition of Excellence,” but did you know that we have a very good fencer as well?

After returning from a six-week fencing class, Ella Webb ‘22 began fencing competitively in sixth grade. “I wanted to try something more individual, to see if it was a better fit for me as an athlete,” Webb ‘22 said, “I fell in love with the mental aspect of it and having to manage a game of chess while physically exerting yourself simultaneously.”

Her training is composed of two-hour sessions every day, tournaments on the weekend, and an additional lessons on Tuesdays, which “are intense, and those are nice because I get to work on specific things versus just fencing everyone else,” Webb ‘22 said. 

Webb’s competitions, “are intense, they’re really long, but there’s a lot of different levels of competition. The local tournaments are easier in terms of the competition that you see, and they’re usually quicker” Webb ‘22 said. 

Fencers earn rankings through going to tournaments. Webb’s earned in a Division 2 event in October at a National event in Kansas City. “Current rating, as of 2019, is an E (ratings are measured on an alphabetic scale with an A being the highest) but I’m hopeful that over the next few years I can up that to something bigger,” Webb ‘22 said.

In fencing, there are three divisions, Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3. Division 3 has a D ranking and below, Division 2 is a B ranking and below, and a Division 1 ranking is C and above (You can choose between Divisions 1 and 2 if you fall in the overlapping gap).  

“I have to travel regularly to attend the bigger ones (tournaments). What I like about traveling for tournaments is that I get to see different cities. I definitely have some favorites and others that aren’t. Most of the time I travel with just my dad, but occasionally my mom and brother come too,” Webb ‘22 said.

The opportunity of fencing has given Webb opportunities to see other places as well as spend some father-daughter time while on the road. “In all actuality, I like having my family travel with me. It can be more difficult and stressful, but it’s nice when we can all be together,” Webb ‘22 said.