Falls Church fencer Matthew Freden, a senior at George Mason High School, placed first out of 16 competitors in the College Fencing Clubs foil tournament in Baltimore on Feb. 27.
The win raised Freden’s national rating by the U.S. Fencing Association from an “E” to a “D.”
Freden’s interest in the fencing – a sport sometimes known as “physical chess” because it involves so much strategy – began with an introductory course offered by the Falls Church Recreation Center when he was a second grader at Thomas Jefferson Elementary.
Since then, he has lived and fenced in Rhode Island, Slovenia and Uruguay before returning to Falls Church in 2016.
In 2017, he qualified for and competed in the Summer Nationals in Salt Lake City. Freden hopes to continue fencing in college next year.