Volume 91, Issue 60

Thursday, January 15, 1998

round and round


Nonato wants to be sabre happy

By Justin Klein
Gazette Staff

It was just three years ago when Patricia Nonato's fascintation with Samurai fighting led her to pick up a sabre sword. With no previous experience, she made the decision to join Western's fencing club in 1995 and one month into the season, the club's popularity had become so overwhelming that a team was formed.

Nonato's natural skills impressed her instructors and sparring partners so much that she became a definite choice for a position on the squad.

"She was seen to have great potential and it didn't take her long on the team to grasp the skill and technique needed to be a champion," said Michael Hassett, captain of the men's foil team.

Remarkable in just her rookie season, Nonato has dominated the league and has gone as far as the provincial varsity finals.

"Most people who got first or second place had been fencing for years," Mustang assistant coach Paul Simms said. "Patricia played in an aggressive fashion and we were proud to be represented by her."

Nonato continued to gain ground in her second year as she made an appearance at the Ontario finals, but once again she fell just short of victory.

This year has already proven to be a successful season for Nonato and the Mustangs, as the team seems to feel more comfortable with each other. Nonato's greatest desire is to see the team win the provincial championship and to realize her own personal goal of making a third consecutive OUA finals appearance.

Nonato's teammates agree she is more than just an excellent fencing star. She is also very approachable and has earned the respect of her coaches and her squad. In their mind, it is only proper that she was made captain.

"Patricia is, first of all, a great teacher," fencer Lindsay Campbell said. "Secondly, she is a great leader who organizes us well."

However, the label of 'captain' has certainly not gone to Nonato's head – she recognizes the responsibilities that come with the title and that she must put in a solid effort for the sake of the team.

"As a captain, my duties are to make sure that everybody on the team is comfortable and organized," Nonato said. "I also extend my duties to try to reduce the stress level that our head coach, John, withstands."

Nonato will lead the women's squad on Sunday as Western will compete in an invitational tournament at York. The men will compete on Saturday.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998