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4:08 pm on 15 November 2022, Tuesday
By: Romeo Braceros Jr.
Samantha Catantan, the pride of the Filipino fencing community, put on an outstanding display as she successfully defended her Garrett Open championship in Pennsylvania by defeating Penn State University teammate Arianna Proietti 15-9 in the women's foil finals.
Catantan won a challenging tournament with three rounds of pooling action.
Catantan is the first "homegrown" Filipino fencer to receive a sports scholarship in the US and compete in the NCAA.
The third-ranked player in the knockout phase, Catantan, defeated Yale University's Annie Lin 15-8 in the round of 16, Temple University's Renee Oymann 15-7 in the quarterfinals, and Yale University's Emme Zhou 15-13 in the semifinals.
Following a third- to fourth-place campaign, Catantan's third podium finish in three weeks earned her a bronze medal at the 2022 Temple Open and a gold medal at the PSU exhibition.
The Nittany Lions are using all these competitions as practice for the March 2023 US NCAA Fencing Championships at Duke, North Carolina. Regional meets commencing next month will mark the beginning of the tournament.
Only the top 16 athletes made it to the direct eliminations after three rounds of pooling.
The competitions are essential for them to qualify for the regionals, according to Catantan, a former outstanding fencer for the University of the East high school team and a pupil of then-national team mentor Amat Canlas of Canlas Fencing.