August 18, 2016 at 3:40 p.m.
Thibodeau fenced bouts against competitors from California, New York, Texas, Washington DC, Connecticut, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Colorado.
The Epee is one of three fencing weapons along with Foil and Saber. It is a larger dueling-style sword and fencers can score anywhere on the body. Epee is the only one of the three fencing events where both fencers can score a “double hit” if both attacks arrive within 1/25th of a second (the electrical cutoff time). Thibodeau used the double hit effectively in his third round direct elimination bout against Ethan Chin of New York, where Thibodeau scored three straight doubles at the end of the bout to win 15-14 and advance to the final 32.
U.S. Fencing National Championships were held June 29 – July 8 at the downtown Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. The final day of the competition had to be canceled due to the police shootings in Dallas the evening of July 7 and the threat by the attacker of possible bomb placements in the city.
Thibodeau, a junior at Chisago Lakes High School, is a member of the Chisago Lakes Fencers competition team affiliated with the Chisago Community Education program. He will resume his training this fall and is a strong contender to win the Minnesota State High School Epee Championship in February 2017. If he can qualify again in 2017, Thibodeau’s next chance to return to the U.S. Nationals will be at Salt Lake City in July of 2017.
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