Ben Baldwin (right), a George Stevens Academy freshman and Blue Hill native, fences against Terry Yoo during the Down East School of Fencing’s winter tournament last month in Verona. Baldwin and Ian Bowden, a GSA junior and Orland native, will be competing in USA Fencing’s Junior Olympic championships from Feb. 18-21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. GEORGE STEVENS ACADEMY PHOTO

GSA freshman, junior qualify for Junior Olympics in fencing

BLUE HILL — Two students from George Stevens Academy are set to compete USA Fencing’s Junior Olympic championships.

Freshman Ben Baldwin and junior Ian Bowden have both qualified for the event, which is scheduled to be held from Feb. 18-21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The two are students of John Krauss at Down East School of Fencing in Verona Island.

Baldwin, a Blue Hill native, qualified in the “foil” division, a lighter and more maneuverable code of fencing that requires competitors to touch their opponent’s torso with the blade tip to accumulate points. Bowden (Orland) achieved his qualification in the “épée” division, in which points can be scored with blade tip contact to any body part.

In preparation for the upcoming Junior Olympic championships, Baldwin and Bowden recently competed in Down East School of Fencing’s winter tournament last month. Both fencers took home gold in their events and also earned Class E certifications, which will give them higher standings in Salt Lake City.

“I love fencing because I keep seeing things to improve and people who  are better than me,” Baldwin said. “There is always a next step in my training.”

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