Washington Fencing Academy in Issaquah is home to a national champion, after 15-year-old Matthew Comes won the Division III Epee competition at the USA Fencing National Championships in Columbus, Ohio.
Comes, a Bothell High School student and Bothell resident, began training in fencing four years ago at a summer camp through the academy and Northshore YMCA.
The championship was the first in three national competitions for Comes, who won all six of his matches in pool competition to reach the elimination bracket.
Once there, he beat out a field of 64 other fencers, beating Andrew Pidhorodeckyj 15-9 in the finals.
Washington Fencing Academy students had previously won championships at national and international events. But Serge Timacheff, a co-founder and the CEO, said Comes title is the first gold medal for a club student at the U.S. National Championships.
“I really think he has a future,” Timacheff said of Comes. “We are really excited about youth fencing.”