I fenced in three events at Nationals, three days in a row: Div 1-A, Vet-50, and Div 2 (all men's epee of course). Of the three, I have the least to say about Div 1-A because I got trounced in the pools and cut before the DEs. I have more to say about Vet-50 and Div 2 and will post about those separately (hopefully before another four months have passed).
Even if I had my notes they would not be much help, since I only jotted down a few general things in the evening after the event. For a while, some time ago now, I had made a habit out of writing some notes after each pool bout and DE. I tried to remember every point and write a quick note about who scored and how, plus any other relevant information. But I fell out of the habit a while ago. Part of my reason for stopping was the feeling that writing stuff down between pool bouts was taking away from watching the other fencers in my pool. I began to think that watching and trying to make plans was more important than writing stuff down.
Which to some degree it is. On the other hand, lately I've been noticing how I often can't clearly remember most touches in a bout even right after it has ended. Part of my goal in trying to write down something about every touch was to get better at understanding each touch: What the action was, how and why the person who scored did so. Was a mistake made? If I got hit, was it because I made a mistake? If so, what was it? Or did my opponent set something up that worked? If so, what was it? What can I do to make sure he can't do it again? And so on. I wanted to get better at analyzing and understanding touches, so that I could adjust to opponent's tactics and capitalize on openings.
But it is a tricky thing. Especially in a pool bout I don't want to spend too much mental energy and focus on what has already happened. I want a good portion of my focus to be on "one touch at a time": To stay in the present moment as much as possible. Still, there is a balance to be found, and lately I have perhaps swung too far back into *not* analyzing. So I think I might try to start taking notes just after bouts again.
All that is to say: I didn't write anything down at Nationals until many hours after each event. And I didn't write much even then, except for a few notable bouts.
In Div 1-A I didn't have any super-notable bouts. I was quite outclassed and mostly overwhelmed, which was honestly about what I expected. I was surprised to have even qualified for Div 1-A. I think the only Div 1-A ROC I competed at during the 2017-18 season was the Battle in Seattle. Apparently I did well enough there to qualify for Nationals.
Anyway, here is the fencingtimelive link for that event:
I was in Pool #4 on Strip K4 (which oddly enough was the same pool number and strip I had the next day in Vet50). Since I don't remember most of the details I've just compiled a list of the people I fenced, in the order I fenced, with some information about each of them. As usual I did not look up any info about the fencers until afterwards, since I find it doesn't help me to know ratings and such beforehand. I didn't know anyone in my pool at all.
Later I did check each person's rating, post-pool seed, final result, etc, as well as info from the Point Control website (http://www.pointcontrol.info). Point Control takes fencing tournament stats and computes an ELO-like rating, similar to the way chess ratings work. It also tells you the birthdate of each fencer. I think it gets all its info from AskFred. The Point Control ratings I cite below are as of October, so they are probably slightly different from what they were in July. But they should be close. Also, the system isn't perfect by any means. Still, it is pretty good, at least for fencers who compete in tournaments in the AskFred database.
My own Point Control rating, as of October 2018, is 31.71. For comparison, below are the ratings (for epee) for some fencers I know. In short, I can imagine reaching a rating of about 35 in a few years. The upper 30s are harder to imagine. Above 40 gets into an elite realm I can only dream about.
Mehmet Tepedelenlioglu: 45.51
Travis Exum: 44.81
Walter Dragonetti: 44.80
Samuel Larsen; 43.29
Matthew Comes: 43.25
Henry Lange: 42.93
Daniel Volkmann: 42.89
Jay Slater: 41.97
Andrew O. Lee: 40.27
Yuly Suvorov: 39.30
Erich Cranor: 39.30
Monica Exum: 39.10
Tobias Lee: 38.27
Bela Suveg: 37.78
Sean Ameli: 37.09
John Varney: 36.29
Aaron Page: 36.07
Mike Perka: 36.04
Fred Frank: 35.96
Caleb Alger: 35.75
Jeff Johnson: 35.65
Shawn Dodge: 35.31
Mark Benack: 34.40
Andrew Kiluk: 34.16
Alex Rwamashongye: 33.57
Paul Fly: 31.71
Joel Howard: 31.41
Johannes Klein: 31.03
John Comes: 28.92
So anyway, here's my pool results and some info on my opponents (and myself).
Paul Fly. C18. Born 1968. Point Control rating: 31.7. Pool victories: 1 (seven person pool, so I was 1-and-5). Indicator: -11. Post-pool seed: 176 (cut). Final result: 176 (out of 197 total).
And my pool bouts in the order I fenced them:
Robert C. Piraino. Lost 4-5. A17. Born 1984. Point Control rating: 37.01. Victories: 3 of 6. Indicator: 0. Post-pool seed: 97. Final result: 104.
Ziheng Wang. Lost 3-5. C18. Born 2001. Point Control rating: 32.9. Victories: 1 of 6. Indicator: -7. Seed: 168 (cut). Final: 168.
Liam K. McKinley. Won 5-2. A17. Born 2001. Point Control rating: 34.76. Victories: 3 of 6. Indicator: -4. Seed: 111T. Final: 31.
Devin D. Tafoya. Lost 2-5. A18. Born 2000. Point Control rating: 41.51. Victories: 5 of 6. Indicator: +10. Seed: 23T. Final: 38T.
Nowell L. Gibson. Lost 1-5. B18. Born 2004. Point Control rating: 30.89. Victories: 3 of 6. Indicator: +2. Seed: 92. Final: 99.
Alexander J. Javorski. Lost 1-5. B18. Born 2000. Point Control rating: 36.81. Victories: 5 of 6. Indicator: +10. Seed: 20T. Final: 12.
Some observations on all this. All my opponents but one were 18 years old or younger. All had a rating equal to or higher than mine. All but one had a higher Point Control rating. Two fencers won all but one bout, one of whom reached the round of 64, the other the round of 32. Curiously, Liam McKinley, who went 3-3 and was the one person I beat, reached the round of 16, finishing 12th. So the one person I beat had the best final result!
One thing I remember about the pool was how my first two bouts felt decent, although I lost. The first one was close, 5-4. The second was not too bad, 5-3. Then in the third bout I felt particularly focused and determined, and won handily, 5-2. But then my focus flagged for some reason and I lost the next three, 5-2, 5-1, 5-1. I remember watching Nowell Gibson and coming up with a plan. I thought I had a decent chance. But the plan failed badly and the bout was over quickly.
A few other tidbits about this event. Matthew Comes took gold, beating Mehmet Tepedelenlioglu without too much trouble (Matthew also came in 8th in Div 1, which might be even more impressive). Henry Lange came in 5th, and Daniel Volkmann 6th. Andy Faubert came in 23rd, Yuly Suvorov 45th.
Anyway, I'll leave it at that. In summary, I was surprised to have even qualified for Div 1-A and went in expecting to not do very well, but determined to give it my best. And I did feel like I gave it my best, even if as always my best could have been better, heh.