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Mason Martin - The Montgomery News Athlete of the Month for April

By Dilan Mehta | Posted April 24, 2024


Mason Martin, a sophomore at Montgomery High School, is a captain of the boys foil team and a member of the varsity squad. He has been fencing for only three years but has quickly become one of the most skilled fencers on the team.


Mason Martin (left) with Coach Andrzej Zamlynny of the Medeo Fencing Club after Martin won a bronze medal at the Junior Olympics qualifier.


Fencing is divided into three weapons, or disciplines. In epee, the whole body can be hit, but only with the point of the blade. In sabre, the head and upper body can be hit, with any part of the blade. In foil, only the torso can be hit, and with only the point of the blade. Foil requires great reaction time and even better precision to succeed.


Martin is currently a D rating in the US Fencing rank system. “The majority of fencers are unrated (U), and then it moves up the alphabet from E-A,” he explained. “A rating is the top level of fencing and the best. C rating is considered a very strong and confident fencer, and I hope to achieve this soon.”


Martin earned multiple bronze medals and one gold medal in local, state, and regional tournaments. He also helped lead the boys foil team to first place in the 2024 NJ District 6 championship, and Montgomery High School to an overall first place in the 2023 championship. He recently returned home from the Junior Olympics.


Martin took up fencing due to an interest in the technique used in blade work. “I used to do play sword fighting with my cousins, so I figured I’d try fencing. I ended up really enjoying it,” he said.


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Martin aims to practice around two to four times a week. Repetition and mastery of the basic techniques and experience with playing against different people with different strategies have helped him to improve. He consistently works on form, speed, and footwork with his coach, Andrzej Zamlynny, at Medeo Fencing Club in Bridgewater, one of the top fencing clubs in the state.


As captain of the MHS Foil Team, Martin helps to coach the new fencers on the team. “[Teaching] has really helped me think through my own strategies because I have to give the information to others in a way that makes sense,” he said. “I try to copy my own coach when it comes to coaching and teaching, and it makes me really happy when someone I’m coaching does well.”


Fencing requires quick, carefully calculated moves, which is why strategy is a key part of the sport. Over time, Martin has developed his own approach to the tactics and planning involved. “My favorite part of fencing is the strategy,” he said. “Outthinking your opponent, combined with athleticism, is required to win results and secure a satisfying victory. Unfortunately, the sport looks a little goofy, but that’s okay, I still enjoy it.”


Martin has high hopes for the future of not just the boys foil team, but the entirety of the MHS fencing program. He said, “I would love if one year the team would be able to win state championships while I’m still around, that’d be incredible.”

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