Vincent Bradford of San Antonio, who came within three touches of winning the women's national foil title earlier this week, easily defeated Jane Littman of Columbia, S.C., 8-4, yesterday to capture the women's epee title at the National Fencing Championships at George Mason University.
For Bradford, who lost to defending champion Jana Angelakis in the foil final Tuesday night, the victory was small compensation.
"I would have rather won the foil, because the nationals is as high as you can go in epee. But I really don't think I could have stood the disappointment of losing them both," said Bradford, who trains at the Modern Pentathlon Center in Texas.
"I have been fencing foil for 16 years, and I was psyched to go for the championship. I am in the best condition I've been in in years," she said.
Bradford, 27, had little trouble with Littman in the final. Zig-zagging back and forth on the fencing strip to distract her opponent, she jumped out to a quick four-touch lead and, with the score 5-3, scored the next two touches before a double touch decided the bout.
Bradford, who was seeded No. 1, coasted through her first two bouts in the final round of 16, winning by a combined score of 16-4. But in her quarterfinal bout against eighth-seeded Veronica Marmora, she lost a 6-3 advantage and barely hung on to win, 10-9.
She recovered in the semifinals, though, scoring seven touches before her frustrated opponent, Margo Szabunia, could lay a blade on her. Bradford won that bout, 8-2.
Littman, meanwhile, had to take the more tortuous route to the final -- through the losers' bracket -- after she dropped her first bout in the round of 16 to Marlene Adrian, 8-1. She defeated Camille Burton, 8-4, and April Dunleavy, 8-3, in the second half of the double-elimination event and then upset second-seeded Elizabeth Erdos, 10-9, and defeated Deborah Allen, 8-4, to advance to the final.
In the consolation bout, Szabunia defeated Allen, 10-9.
The national tournament concludes today with the men's epee team competition, which begins at 8 a.m.