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En Garde! Math-Econ Major Nabs Fencing Title

By Lauren Cooper ’16 on November 10, 2015 05:33 PM

Math-econ major Ian Morrison ’17 won the Douglas Williams Tournament. Photo by Jordan Yu ’16

Math-Econ major Ian Morrison ’17 parried his way to victory last week when he won the 18th annual Douglas Williams Fencing Tournament.

The contest featured incisive attacks and lightning ripostes from all the participants, but once the masks were lifted, their steely competition turned to cheerful camaraderie. Fencing coach Miwa Nishi ’92 says her favorite part of the tournament is the way that every student improves from the first to the last bout.

The tournament was started by the late Douglas Williams ’63, who learned to fence at Reed and later said that it taught him to value a balance of mental and physical excellence. He began the tournament to promote interest in the sport and to give back to Reed. It includes a purse of $8,000 that supports financial aid. (Any Reed student can compete, but only students who receive financial aid are eligible for the prize money.)

Carol Simpson, Douglas’ widow, opened the tournament two years ago by saying that he once told her that for centuries youths went out into the world with nothing but a sword to win their fortune and this was his way for keeping that tradition alive.

For his victory, Ian won $5,000, a handcrafted medallion, and much timé.

History major Dylan Lowy ’16 won second place. English major Shiloh Mckinnon ’18 came in third. Econ major Luke Szatmary ’19 earned $2,000 in financial aid and biochem major Foster Seybert ’17 earned $1,000.