By: Scarlett Shelley
Aurora Aschettino, a junior at Oyster Bay High School, is an athlete that many look up to. Aschettino is on the varsity fencing team at OBHS. Although she only started fencing a few years ago, since then she has become one of the best foil fencers on Long Island. The Harbour Voice asked Ashettino a few questions about her fencing career, and here are her responses:
Has fencing always been your passion, or has it been recently that you fell in love with it? What brought you to the sport?
I only started fencing as a freshman and only started seriously competing within the past year. Originally, I didn’t want to fence; I wanted to play volleyball and do the musical. But, I had so much support from my coaches, which made me want to do it. I think I really fell in love with fencing because it’s such a challenge to have started as late as I did, and I want to be great. Fencing can open up so many opportunities for someone.
Can you describe your experience at the Brentwood Holiday Invitational and Individuals [fencing tournaments on Long Island]?
I was so nervous at both events; there was some good competition at both and, in the end, I had fun. At both events, I had my school teammates and club mates there supporting me.
What was going through your head when you beat Talia Perlman? What emotions were you feeling?
The second I beat her, I felt a rush of relief. I was so nervous that entire day, and I wanted to win so badly. I even cried after I won and was sick the morning of from nerves. I wanted to win, not only for myself, but for everyone who’s helped me get where I am.
What part of fencing do you think you’re the best at, and what do you want to improve on?
I have my own specific actions I’m good at and actions I definitely need to get better at. In general, I think my best quality as a fencer is that I never give up. Even if I know I’m fencing someone I’ll probably lose to, I always give them a fight. I think I need to improve upon controlling my emotions; I can get extremely passionate on the strip and sometimes that can get in the way of the current objective.
How do you prepare for the fencing season; what kind of training do you do?
I train at East Coast Fencing Club with Gidon Retzkin six days a week for at least two hours a day year round. Recently, I’ve been trying to raise that to three hours a day by going in early and training on my own.
What is some advice you would give to young fencers who would also want to be county champion?
If you want to fence, you cannot get discouraged. It can become mentally challenging at points and really knock you down, but determination and hard work pays off in the end, as cliché as it may sound.
What do you enjoy most about this sport?
The challenge; fencing is just as mental as it is physical. You can’t just overpower your opponent. You need to outsmart them as well. Having to improve so quickly makes winning even more rewarding. Most of my opponents have been fencing for at least 8 years.
Here you'll find articles