Sports Person of the Week
Brown Finds Her Niche as a Foil Fencer
Cameryn Brown made history for the Hand girls’ fencing team as a junior and was named a captain for her upcoming senior season. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Gramlich )
Cameryn Brown has only been fencing for a few years, but she’s already turning heads with her standout performances. Cameryn was encouraged by her mother Lisa Gramlich to give fencing a shot, and she’s stuck with the sport ever since. Now, Cameryn is one of the top athletes on the girls’ fencing team at Daniel Hand High School.
“I’ve always watched it and followed it on the Olympics,” says Cameryn. “But my mom was the one who signed me up for my first private lesson.”
Cameryn started fencing for the Tigers during her freshman year at Hand. As a junior this year, Cameryn became the first athlete in Hand girls’ fencing history to finish in first place at the Individual State Championship when she took the title in the foil division. By virtue of her victory, Cameryn earned herself a D rating as a fencer (ratings go from A to U for unrated). She garnered All-State First Team honors and was also selected to the USA Fencing All-American Second Team for foil.
“I think my favorite moment was winning first this year at individual states. The moment I won, my teammates all gathered around me with this overwhelming sense of support and embraced me with a giant group hug,” Cameryn says. “The fencing team is like my second family. We are always around each other, so we just grow closer faster. I loved the giant group hug and my whole team cheering me on, because of the support.”
Cameryn is always looking for ways to sharpen her skills on the fencing strip. She likes having the responsibility on her shoulders every time she competes. At the same time, Camryn enjoys sharing those memorable moments with her fellow fencers.
“I love fencing, because I was never really a team sports person, and I like how it’s on me to get a touch or win a bout. But I’m still constantly supported and connected with my teammates,” says Cameryn. “And I’m always trying to improve myself, you know? I go every week to Silver City Fencing Club in Wallingford for my lesson with my private coach Stu Holmes and then for open fencing.”
Cameryn credits both Holmes and Hand fencing Head Coach Michael Ginsburg for much of her success. Cameryn believes that fencing on a year-round basis has played a huge part in her rapid progression.
“Stu has been a huge factor in my success. He has not only taught me so much about how to fence, but is always there to push me and watch me grow, which I owe a lot to him for,” Cameryn says. “And Coach Ginsburg is a very dedicated man to the fencing team. I especially like that he always listens. If you have any questions or concerns, he’s always there to answer them.”
Coach Ginsburg describes Cameryn as a highly focused fencer who has continually raised the bar for herself since her freshman year. Ginsburg says that Cameryn will sometimes have jitters before she steps on the strip, but you wouldn’t know that based on the way she performs.
“Since her freshman year, Cameryn has set goals for herself and put in the time to make her goals a reality,” says Ginsburg. “Others coaches and athletes see this as a confident and successful athlete—as was evidenced by the request to have her officiate the gold medal women’s foil match at the State Junior Varsity Tournament this year—but inside, she’s a nervous wreck like most athletes before a big match. Despite the success she had this year, Cameryn still wants to learn and grow as an athlete.”
Cameryn has big expectations for both herself and the Tigers in her senior season. Cameryn was selected as one of Hand’s captains for the 2020-’21 campaign.
“I hopefully will place in the top eight again for states,” says Cameryn. “And I want to be a great and engaged leader for the team.”
Coach Ginsburg also has high hopes about what Cameryn and company can achieve next year. Ginsburg knows that Cameryn wants the Tigers to win, because she cares so much about her teammates.
“When the foil team did not win the state title this year, Cameryn took it hard. Not because they lost, but because she felt she let her teammates down,” Ginsburg says. “It is just a testament to who she is as a person: caring, tenacious, and someone with highest regard for everyone around her.”
Aside from fencing, Cameryn enjoys horseback riding, painting, and drawing. Cameryn has received four PTO Recognition awards at Hand and is a co-leader of the school’s Art Club.
“I love horseback riding as a side hobby, because it’s fun and it’s still exercise that’s other than fencing,” says Cameryn.