Homer, Wozniak represent Storm in Turkey

Two members of the St. John’s fencing team, sophomore Daryl Homer and junior Dagmara Wozniak, represented the United States at the 2009 Senior Fencing World Championships in Turkey Sept. 30 – Oct. 8.

Homer advanced to the second round of the men’s sabre event before being defeated by Spain’s Jorge Pina, 15-12. He finished 25th overall in his first-ever appearance at the world championships.

Homer said although he though he had a solid debut, he intends to have a stronger showing in the future.

“I didn’t go above my expectations, so next time I’ll be hoping to improve upon that,” he said.

Wozniak, making her second appearance at the world championships, reached the round of 64 after going 3-2 in pool play. She was eliminated by American teammate Monica Aksamit in a close 15-14 match.

“I was a little disappointed with my individual performance in Turkey,” Wozniak said. “I could’ve performed a lot better, could’ve trained a lot better, prepared a lot better before the
competition.”

Despite the disappointing finishes, though, both fencers think the competition in Turkey will help them when the regular season begins Nov. 6 at the Junior North American Cup in Kansas City, MO.

Both fencers have high expectations for the upcoming season, individually, and from a team standpoint.

“I expect myself to go undefeated,” Homer said. “I think if everyone trains hard here, [the team] can really win the NCAA’s this year.”

Individually, Wozniak expects to remain in the top three fencers in the country, where she finished last season.

“As a team, we have a pretty strong setup this year so I really am expecting a lot of strong results,” she said.

Wozniak felt differently about how the competition will benefit her in this upcoming season. Because of the different fencing styles used at the World Championships, Wozniak said “the competition didn’t benefit [her] in terms of strategy.”

Wozniak said from the competition she learned how to take “a loss and just looking at is as not the end of the world.”
Overall, the U.S. women’s and men’s teams finished sixth and
seventh, respectively.