Photo by Tim Lebarge
History major Alexi Horowitz ’14 won the 16th annual Douglas Williams Fencing Tournament in November, earning monster timê and a handcrafted gold pendant shaped like a foil to commemorate his victory.
During the bouts, the students thrust and parried with steely determination. Fencing coach Miwa Nishi ’92, who has been involved in the tournament since its inception, said that one of her favorite parts of the event is watching the fencers in a competitive mood, as opposed to just practicing. After each bout, however, once their protective face masks were lifted, the fencers gathered around to congratulate and encourage each other.
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 $10,000 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 by saying that Douglas 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.
Econ major Ian Morrison ’17 won second place, earning a silver sword on a black ribbon. Chemistry major Larissa Seybert ’17 won third, earning a bronze sword on a red ribbon, and anthro major Adam Casey ’15 won honorable mention. At the end of the tournament, Simpson presented each of the fencers with a certificate and a hug.