Upon enrolling at Ball State University in 1994, Christine Dominick immediately joined the school's fencing club. Growing up in Edison Park, she had drawn, painted, and played the piano, but by the time she got to college she was tired of "boring girlie stuff....All I knew is that I wanted to fence. It just seemed very natural for me to do." She tried two of the three fencing blades: the foil, a thin, flexible sword, and the epee, a stiff, heavy weapon with a triangular crosspiece and a bell guard to protect the hand. Early on her coach told her she performed better with the latter, and she began using it exclusively. Since then, Dominick, who now lives in Evanston, has risen to 38th on the United States Fencing Association's list of senior-level female epeeists; last month, she won the group's midwest sectional tournament outside Saint Paul. Dominick has maximized two assets: being a lefty in a sport dominated by righties, and a shifty style that allows her to catch opponents off guard--one of her pet moves is squatting to hit a rival's toe. The sport requires strategic thinking and quickness; brute strength doesn't guarantee an advantage. "Anybody can do it," Dominick says. "You just have to put in the effort." She'll showcase her skills during the Illinois Fencers Club Epee Challenge on Sunday, May 18, at the Mount Prospect Central Community Center, 1000 W. Central in Mount Prospect. Between 25 and 30 epeeists, including three-time midwest sectional men's champion Christopher Karll, will compete for individual honors. Four squads will vie for the team title. The free event starts at 9 AM; for more information call 847-279-1585.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paul Dominick.