BUDAPEST, HUNGARY — Freshman foil fencer Eoin Gronningsater, a product of Brooklyn, N.Y., traveled to Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Sept. 16 to compete in the Junior World Cup, the first of the World Cup circuit. Gronningsater finished in the top 16 out of 175 of the top under-20 fencers in the world.
The Junior World Cup is the first competition that determines the teams for the 2017 World Championships in April, which will be held in Leipzig, Germany.
Gronningsater reflected on the start of his fencing career, giving much gratitude to his coach at the Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club, Daniel Kellner. “Kellner was a 2004 Summer Olympian in Athens who moved to New York and opened a fencing club near my house”, Gronningsater said. “It was just the second foil fencing club in Brooklyn, so I got really lucky. When I was eight or nine, I was always interested in sword fighting, so I signed up for a class with a friend…and never looked back.”
Gronningsater is ranked 12th in the nation in the under-20 group, scored a top-eight finish in the 2016 Junior Division I Summer Nationals and is a one-time top-four competitor at the Cadet North American Cup (NAC).
Two of Gronningsater’s best friends from the BBFC are now fencing at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, and also competed in Budapest this past weekend. “I’ve had a lot of great memories with my friends at the fencing club”, Gronningsater said. “This past summer, I did really well in both events at Nationals, and even beat my best friend, who is a Cadet World Champion. He always crushes me in tournaments, so that was a really great feeling.”
Gronningsater has only traveled internationally for fencing once, and says he’s excited to explore another city with his friends and have more opportunities to fence.
Freshman Gronningsater will compete in his first collegiate match in October.