Ann Marsh-Senic, right, of Royal Oak, defeats her opponent to win a gold medal in her debut in the veteran 50-59 event at the USA Fencing National Championships, which took place July 3-12 in Philadelphia.

Ann Marsh-Senic, right, of Royal Oak, defeats her opponent to win a gold medal in her debut in the veteran 50-59 event at the USA Fencing National Championships, which took place July 3-12 in Philadelphia.

Photo provided by Ann Marsh-Senic


Fencing competitions keep family busy

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 27, 2021

 Adeline Senic, 14, of Royal Oak, wearing blue, poses for a photo during the USA Fencing National Championships. She placed seventh in the Y14 women’s foil event.

Adeline Senic, 14, of Royal Oak, wearing blue, poses for a photo during the USA Fencing National Championships. She placed seventh in the Y14 women’s foil event.

Photo provided by Ann Marsh-Senic

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ROYAL OAK — Fencing has been on the forefront of Royal Oak resident, full-time emergency room physician and three-time Olympian Ann Marsh-Senic’s mind since she was first introduced to the sport as a student at Roeper School, a private pre-K through 12th grade institution.

Her drive and competitive nature led her to meet her husband, Anatole Senic, a fellow fencer who participated in the World Fencing Championships six times and was the 2004 and 2005 Moldovan National Champion.

The couple have two children, Adeline, 14, and Lucas, 11, who are also highly involved in the sport of fencing. Ann still participates in competitions and helps run Renaissance Fencing Club in Troy, where Anatole is the head foil coach.

While the family had tickets to attend the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo this year, they will instead be watching from home as Tokyo tightened restrictions on visitors attending the games approximately six months ago.

Ann participated in the Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000, and Adeline is an Olympic hopeful. Ann also was the 1994 and 1995 U.S. National Champion, as well as a 10-time World Cup finalist.

Renaissance Fencing Club members recently took home 10 medals in the USA Fencing National Championships, which took place July 3-12 in Philadelphia.

Adeline placed seventh in the Y14 women’s foil event, and Ann won gold in her debut in the veteran 50-59 event, besting two veteran world medalists.

Ann is looking to earn a spot at the Veteran World Championships, which will take place this October in Daytona Beach, Florida. The event in Philadelphia was one of two that will determine the top three ranked athletes for the Veteran World Championships. Ann will compete in the second event next month in Atlanta to try to clinch her spot.

She began fencing in eighth grade.

“I just really enjoyed it. I was playing some other sports, but I found fencing a little more exciting because it’s an individual sport and you have to figure out what your opponent is thinking,” Ann said. “It’s a lot more about individual strategy and trying to predict your opponent’s next move.”

In high school, she said, she began to focus primarily on fencing to try to make the under 17 national team. She ended up making the junior world team, and then decided to attend Columbia University in New York City partially because of its strong fencing program.

After graduating from medical school in Rochester, New York, and completing her residency in Buffalo, New York, she returned home to Michigan and joined a group of fencers who competed regionally and nationally. She met Anatole when they competed against each other at a tournament in Ann Arbor, ultimately beating him.

While the pandemic created a lull in fencing competitions, they have steadily been picking back up. Ann said they have spent almost every weekend for the last four or five months traveling to competitions near and far.

While the National Fencing Championship rounded out the season, Adeline and Anatole left July 21 to start off the new season in a competition located in Salt Lake City.

Adeline said she has found a way to create balance between the sport and family life.

“When we’re at practice, he’s my coach, and when we’re at home, he’s my dad,” she said. “I like to win.”

She added that her favorite weapon to fence with is foil, and that she likes to take the offensive, moving forward toward her opponent quickly and decisively. Ann said the aggressive tactic is uncommon in the sport and often takes opponents by surprise.

“I really enjoy watching my kids compete and fence,” Ann said. “It’s inspiring to watch.”

The family has traveled the world for fencing competitions. Some notable experiences include China, Poland, Spain, Brazil and France. Adeline said she enjoys “hand fencing” with her friends, which she has done on the Great Wall of China and near a castle in Budapest, Hungary.

“We do like seeing the sights. We also eat our way through all the towns,” Ann said. “One parent is a foodie, and Adeline has taken over that role as well.”

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