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By Steve Breazeale
Francesca Fedorovsky grew up playing every sport imaginable—soccer, basketball, karate and figure skating were a few she tried. But none of those sports resonated with her, and it wasn’t until she picked up a sabre and gave fencing a try that she found her calling.
After seven years of training and traveling the world competing at the highest level, Fedorovsky, a senior at San Clemente High School, will soon call New Haven, Connecticut, her home. Fedorovsky is committed to fence for Yale and was one of 20 San Clemente student-athletes that took part in a National Signing Day ceremony on campus on Feb. 1 to commemorate the achievement.
The San Clemente Times caught up with Fedorovsky, who is 24th in the nation in the U20 juniors points standings, to talk about her unique sport, the recruitment process, and her thoughts on taking her talents to the next level.
San Clemente Times: How did you get into fencing?
Francesca Fedorovsky: My dad used to fence, and I just wanted to try every sport. I finally go to fencing and realized this is really interesting and something I’d consider doing for a while. I started when I turned 10 (years old) and trained in Laguna Niguel and then at Cal Tech against the college team there.
SCT: You competed against a college team when you were that young? How’d you do?
FF: It was difficult because so many of them were so tall. I remember a couple kids on the team were 6-foot-5. I was just this tiny 11 year old (laughs). I did well.
SCT: What is it about fencing that you enjoy?
FF: How competitive it is. Most other sports it’s with a team. What I love about fencing is it’s all about you. If you’re having a great day, then it will reflect. If you’re having a bad day, you can change it yourself. I just like how direct it was, how individual it was.
SCT: Your travel schedule is not like that of a normal high school sport. How’d you manage all the travel?
FF: At first it was scary having to miss so much school. I eventually got used to it. Last year I traveled to four international events, and five national cups. Just missing so much school your junior year is so hectic. I was here for the first week of school, then gone the week after because I had to be in Poland. Then I was back a week and gone another. It’s just really difficult to balance everything but it’s totally possible.
SCT: What are your thoughts on joining the team at Yale?
FF: It’s definitely an up-and-coming team. They just got two new amazing coaches, and we’re getting some really great recruits. What I loved about Yale is that I’d get to start from the beginning and really be active in the team.