GLEN GARDNER _ Alex Boden considered Mendham's fifth-place finish at the Santelli Tournament "pretty good."
"We hoped for better but it wasn't bad," said Boden, a senior who fences sabre.
The Minutemen, fourth in epee and sixth in sabre, came in fifth overall behind Livingston, Columbia, Bernards and Governor Livingston in the competition held at Voorhees High School on Saturday, Jan. 14.
"This shows we're still one of the stronger teams in the state," Boden said of Mendham, which made it to the NJSIAA Team Final last season.
Senior Kaitlyn Wallace led the epee squad while Boden anchored the sabre unit.
Boden noted that sabre teammates Meredith Gano and Natasha Sidhu were exceptional. Gano, was "spectacular," she said, going undefeated in the first round. Sidhu went 5-2 in the first pool on "B" strip.
Other Morris County teams, including Morristown, participated in the Santelli.
Rebekah Lee of Morristown had fenced five times before noon. Lee, a senior who competes in sabre, said the Colonials did bonding on Thursday, making T-shirts at Seton Koons' house in preparation for the all-day competition.
"This is a nice opportunity for girls," Lee said. "We get to go out and fence a lot of different teams."
The bonding the Colonials do has made them closer. Morristown also has a big brothers and little sisters program in which they make each other psyche bags.
"We like to keep things fun," Lee said.
Morristown coach Alicia Rapp, a former Drew University fencer, said the sabre team, comprised of Lee, Koons and Mary Rizzi, is an energetic bunch.
"They have the drive to go and get the touch," Rapp said. "That's the spirit of sabre. They're not on the defensive."
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