By David Wharton P ’19
After near-misses the past two seasons, the Chaminade men’s fencing team captured the state title at the 2018 California high school championships, edging out rival Harvard-Westlake and Brentwood on Sunday.
The women’s squad put up a valiant fight, finishing a close second after the points were tabulated.
The results capped a successful rebuilding effort by Coach Derek Snyder, who lost a corps of veteran athletes after the 2016 season and had to start over with a roster of underclassmen.
On the men’s side, junior Zachary Wharton took bronze in foil competition and sophomore Lance Fortner racked up crucial points in both foil and epee to secure the title. Emmanuelle Cola, a junior, also won bronze in foil to lead the women.
The team needed strong performances top-to-bottom in the two events because it had no one in the saber category this season. Other team members included: Ian Ngo, John Conroy and Alek Yegazarian for the men and Charlotte Weller, Emily Brown and Mary Alexa Cantalejo for the women.
Chaminade has won more state titles in fencing than in any other varsity sport. The long-time program has produced numerous standouts – including Snyder, from the Class of 2001 – who have gone on to compete at the college and international level.