(Detroit, Mich.) – Twenty-three bouts in two days is a grueling schedule for any fencer, but Emma Buckingham (Carrboro, N.C.) was up to the task, following her 12 bout wins on Friday to earn her first North American Cup gold with another 11 on Saturday to earn a second NAC title.
Buckingham, who was undefeated en route to winning the Division II women’s epee title at the NAC D on Friday in Detroit, returned to the Cobo Center on Saturday morning to claim a second gold in the Division III women’s epee.
“It feels incredible. It’s definitely an experience I haven’t had before. Especially today. I wasn’t expecting today because I was so tired from yesterday and I just wanted to be done with,” Buckingham laughed after the medal ceremony
After five wins in the pools and another four in the direct elimination table, Buckingham defeated 16-year-old Ashley Muller (Harrison, N.Y.), 15-14, to advance to the final. Fencing for gold, Buckingham and 14-year-old Rebecca Rose (Chicago, Ill.)also had a close bout, but Buckingham scored the final touch to take the win, 15-14.
“I try to clear my head. I try not to think of things unless it’s strategy and even then, I try not to think of that. I just think of little things like ‘keep calm, keep steady, keep distance,” Buckingham said.
A top-16 finisher at the 2008 NCAA Championships during her career at Haverford College, Buckingham now juggles fencing with pursuing a graduate degree in archaeology at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
“Fortunately UNC not only has a varsity team and a club program, but they also have a very good coach, so I’m able to go there to fence,” she said. “I really wanted to keep fencing after college and I knew it would be hard, but I really ended up in the best circumstance.”