Ludovico Marchetti is a senior at Santa Barbara High School and is June’s Athlete of The Month. In late April, Marchetti competed in the California State High School Fencing Championship, a statewide fencing competition held between high school students officially recognized by the United States Fencing Association. While Santa Barbara High has no official fencing team, he still proudly represented the high school placing third in men’s Epee. This is one of two competitions Marchetti has participated in America. He also performed in an under-20 competition in which kids from neighboring states participated as well. While he says he did pretty well finishing in the top 20, “I was motivated to do better in the next one.”
Marchetti transferred into Santa Barbara High School from Italy and brought his passion of fencing with him to the states. “Back in Italy I competed regularly on a regional and national level,” Marchetti said. Marchetti started fencing when he was eight years old while in Italy and first found fencing on the internet. He tried it and instantly fell in love with it. “I started competing just six months after starting and since then I’ve been competing in every tournament I can.” While in Italy Marchetti made a name for himself as he placed seventh in the Italian National Championship for fencing and placed top 20 in the country. Marchetti would practice rigorously back in Italy. “Back in Italy I used to practice four days a week for about nine to ten hours of training a week,” Marchetti said.
When asked about the transition in the competition from fencing in Italy to the United States, Marchetti responded with, “I didn’t notice big differences between competing here and competing there. Maybe because I haven’t competed enough here. But, the most noticeable difference I experienced is the amount of competition. Again, maybe it was a particular case in the tournaments I’ve competed in, but in Italy even the regional tournaments can have up to 200-250 fencers while [in America] it was more like 120.” Marchetti practices at the Presidio Fencing Club near the intersection of Garden and East Cota street. Marchetti has had a lot of great experiences while practicing at the club and one of his most memorable was when he got to practice with Olympic fencer Anna van Brummen, who competed with the US women’s EPEE team during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which ranked fifth out of eighteen nations.
Marchetti hopes after high school to attend medical school. “In Italy, I attend a scientific high school, more specifically a medicine program that provides a more detailed education on medicine, preparing the students to go to medical school. So right now my idea is to graduate and then go into medical school in Italy.” When asked if he wants to possibly pursue fencing professionally, Marchetti responds with “I’d love to fence professionally one day, but at the moment the scenario seems unlikely to happen.” Fencing is a smaller sport in terms of popularity to most so seats for professional teams are very far and few between and the most skilled players compete for said seats. “Even if I consider myself a good fencer, I am not quite there yet.” Marchetti turns this around to a more positive outlook by saying “I certainly will keep fencing in the future as a hobby, but I don’t think that a professional career won’t be the way to go at this point in time. But you never know what can happen…”
Ludovico Marchetti [Image Credit: James Sanchez].