MANILA, Philippines – Filipina fencer Samantha Catantan ended her rookie year in style, copping a bronze medal for Penn State University in the women’s foil of the US NCAA Division I Fencing Champions Monday at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania.
The promising freshman topped the preliminary round with an undefeated record in 20 bouts before falling short against teammate Lodovica Bicego, 14-15, in the semifinals.
On top of her third-place finish, the Philippine women’s team standout also earned a prestigious All-America selection as Penn State was hailed runner-up to national champion Notre Dame.
This was the latest achievement for the former UAAP MVP from University of the East after winning a gold medal in the Asian U23 Fencing Championships in Thailand in 2019.
She also notched a silver and two bronze mints in the 2017 and 2019 Southeast Asian Games, respectively, after serving as a key cog in UE’s UAAP fencing dynasty marked by nine straight girls’ championships.
The 19-year-old ace will now set her sights in reaching the sports summit when she re-joins the Philippine team in the fencing Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Tokyo Olympics next month in Uzbekistan.
Catantan also joined cagebelle Jack Animam and volleyball ace Jaja Santiago in the growing list of Filipina athletes flying the flag high in overseas leagues.
Both former UAAP MVPs and national team stalwarts, Animam anchored Shih Hsin University’s championship in Taiwan’s University Basketball Association while Santiago helped Ageo Medics win the Japan V. Cup gold.
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