Junior nationally ranked in fencing

October 22, 2015 — by Apoorv Kwatra

Junior Eric Pei has been fencing since he was just 8 years old, winning many tournaments and awards along the way.

In just the past two months, Pei has placed 10th in a tournament held in Konin, Poland; placed 19th individually and third in a team event in a tournament in Godollo, Hungary; and competed in a tournament in Richmond, Va. His performances in these tournaments have cemented Pei as the No. 8 ranked fencer in the under 16 category in the U.S..

Pei said never settles for anything less than winning.

“I enjoy the competition and the feeling you get when you see yourself improve,” Pei said.

His desire to be better has fueled him through years of difficult training. No matter how difficult things got, Pei motivated himself to “keep moving forward.”

“Sometimes, practice gets too hard,” Pei said. “Sometimes, I feel like I just need a break. But no matter what, I keep practicing hard because I know that in the end, it will pay off..”

Pei has achieved more in fencing than even he could have expected.  “Being ranked this high was incredibly exciting,” Pei said. “It made me realize that my hard work is really paying off.”

Pei’s coach, Rob Handleman, has seen his pupil advance through ranks.

“Eric pushes himself harder than any other fencer I have ever seen,” Handleman said. “I know he deserves to continue fencing for years to come.”

Pei plans to continue fencing in college, and even hopes to use fencing as a way of getting into certain colleges. 

“I just want to fence for as long as I can,” Pei said. “If I can continue fencing in college and even after, that would be awesome.”